Skip to content


  • Case Report
  • Open Access

Concomitant Xeroderma pigmentosum and disseminated small plaque psoriasis: first case of an antinomic association

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 1
Cases Journal20081:74

  • Received: 06 June 2008
  • Accepted: 07 August 2008
  • Published:


We present the case of an eighteen-year-old Caucasian white boy who was diagnosed with xeroderma pigmentosum type A at age 5 and who experienced over the past year disseminated small plaque psoriasis confirmed with skin punch biopsy. The psoriatic lesions were successfully treated with multipotent topical corticosteroids and systemic retinoids. To our knowledge, the association between psoriasis and xeroderma pigmentosum has not been previously reported and may be regarded as unlikely when considering the pathogenesis of both diseases.


  • Psoriasis
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum
  • Psoriatic Lesion
  • Skin Tumour


Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by a defect of DNA-repair occurring during UV-induced damage. The disease is quite complex and different subsets of abnormalities in the DNA-repair system may be present during the course of the disease. Thus, patients with XP have a decreased cutaneous immune surveillance which results in an increased risk of UV-induced skin tumours at an early age. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), actinic keratoses, atypical moles and malignant melanoma, all associated with severe photoaging are commonly seen in such patients. The prognosis of XP is based on early diagnosis as to permit strict UV avoidance and early detection and treatment of skin tumours, especially in photo-exposed areas.

Case presentation

We present the case of an eighteen-year-old white Caucasian boy who was diagnosed with XP type A at age 5. Other clinical signs include photophobia, keratitis and loss of eyelashes. Despite rigorous monitoring and photoprotection, the patient developed over 100 facial skin cancers (mainly BCC and SCC) treated with cryotherapy and surgery. Surprisingly, the patient experienced over the past year disseminated small plaque psoriasis (Fig. 1) confirmed with skin punch biopsy. S100 staining showed reduced density of Langerhans cells in healthy skin (Fig. 2), as previously reported in XP group A [1]. The psoriatic lesions were successfully treated with multipotent topical corticosteroids and systemic retinoids.
Figure 1
Figure 1

Association of small erythematous scaly plaques with multiple areas of hyperpigmentation resembling freckles on the patient's back.

Figure 2
Figure 2

S100 staining showing reduced density of Langerhans cells in healthy skin.


To our knowledge, the association between psoriasis and XP has not been previously reported and may be regarded as unlikely when considering the pathogenesis of both diseases.

XP patients exhibit Langerhans cell depletion, intensified impairment of natural killer (NK) cell function and enhanced UV-immunosuppression, possibly mediated through increased prostaglandin E2 production [14]. By opposition, psoriatic plaques are characterized by immune activation, with NK cell activation and decreased cyclo-oxygenase activity [5, 6].

In addition, in XP, unrestricted cellular proliferation is associated with inactivation of members of the iNK4a/Arf locus, such as p14 and p16 [7]. By opposition, in psoriasis, members of the iNK4a/Arf locus are overexpressed, which may contribute to the senescent switch and resistance of psoriatic plaques to cellular transformation despite altered differentiation, angiogenesis, increased telomerase activity, proliferative changes and apoptosis resistance characterising psoriatic skin [8, 9].

Further data are required to determine why and how those apparently antinomic diseases can coexist.




Basal cell carcinoma


desoxy ribonucleic acid


invariant natural killer


natural killer


squamous cell carcinoma




xeroderma pigmentosum.


Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Dermatology, Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 808, route de Lennik, Brussels, B-1070, Belgium
Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious diseases, CHU St-André Bordeaux, 1, Rue Jean Burguet, 33075, France


  1. Jimbo T, Ichihashi M, Mishima Y, Fujiwara Y: Role of excision repair in UVB-induced depletion and recovery of human epidermal Langerhans cells. Arch Dermatol. 1992, 128: 61-7. 10.1001/archderm.128.1.61.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Horio T, Miyauchi-Hashimoto H, Kuwamoto K, Horiki S, Okamoto H, Tanaka K: Photobiologic and photoimmunologic characteristics of XPA gene-deficient mice. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2001, 6: 58-63. 10.1046/j.0022-202x.2001.00019.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Kolgen W, van Steeg H, Horst van der GT, Hoeijmakers JH, van Vloten WA, de Gruijl FR, Garssen J: Association of transcription-coupled repair but not global genome repair with ultraviolet-B-induced Langerhans cell depletion and local immunosuppression. J Invest Dermatol. 2003, 121: 751-6. 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2003.12476.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ottaviani C, Nasorri F, Bedini C, de Pita O, Girolomoni G, Cavani A: CD56brightCD16(-) NK cells accumulate in psoriatic skin in response to CXCL10 and CCL5 and exacerbate skin inflammation. Eur J Immunol. 2006, 36: 118-28. 10.1002/eji.200535243.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Kanda N, Mitsui H, Watanabe S: Prostaglandin E(2) suppresses CCL27 production through EP2 and EP3 receptors in human keratinocytes. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004, 114: 1403-9. 10.1016/j.jaci.2004.08.041.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Remy W, Sigl I, Leipold B: Prostaglandin E2 gel improvement of psoriatic lesions. Int J Dermatol. 1986, 25: 266-8. 10.1111/j.1365-4362.1986.tb02240.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Soufir N, Daya-Grosjean L, de La Salmoniere P, Moles JP, Dubertret L, Sarasin A, Basset-Seguin N: Association between INK4a-ARF and p53 mutations in skin carcinomas of xeroderma pigmentosum patients. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000, 92: 1841-7. 10.1093/jnci/92.22.1841.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Chaturvedi V, Cesnjaj M, Bacon P, Panella J, Choubey D, Diaz MO, Nickoloff BJ: Role of INK4a/Arf locus-encoded senescent checkpoints activated in normal and psoriatic keratinocytes. Am J Pathol. 2003, 162: 161-70.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Nickoloff BJ: Creation of psoriatic plaques: the ultimate tumor suppressor pathway. A new model for an ancient T-cell-mediated skin disease. Viewpoint. J Cutan Pathol. 2001, 28: 57-64. 10.1034/j.1600-0560.2001.280201.x.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© Ezzedine et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.