Xeroderma pigmentosum possesses such striking characteristics and is so well known to dermatologists that no description of the disease is required. Its hereditary tendency is well known; it acts as a recessive characteristic with no tendency toward sex differences. Consanguinity of the parents has been recorded in from 17 to 59 per cent of the cases, and was regarded by Toyama as the reason for the high incidence in Japan.
The course of this disease is progressive, the exposed parts of the skin undergoing all of the progressive changes of senility; as a rule, death results from carcinomatosis. Kaposi described the condition in detail, but apparently failed to notice its frequent onset as an acute erythematous reaction to solar exposure. His denial of photosensitivity as a factor in the production of the changes found in xeroderma pigmentosum led to a delay in arriving at an understanding of the pathogenesis. Ephelides,
LYNCH FW. XERODERMA PIGMENTOSUMA STUDY IN SENSITIVITY TO LIGHT. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1934;29(6):858–873. doi:10.1001/archderm.1934.01460120055005