Enteropathic acrodermatitis, also known as acrodermatitis enteropathica, is a rare genetic disorder characterized by skin lesions and other associated symptoms resulting from a deficiency of zinc absorption in the body.
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including skin health, immune function, and growth.
Key features of enteropathic acrodermatitis include:
Individuals with this condition typically develop skin lesions that often affect the hands, feet, and areas around the mouth and eyes. These lesions can manifest as red, scaly, and inflamed patches that may become blistered or ulcerated. In severe cases, the skin may crack or peel.
Chronic diarrhea is a common symptom associated with enteropathic acrodermatitis. This is a result of the impaired absorption of nutrients, including zinc, in the intestines.
Children with this disorder may experience stunted growth and delayed development due to the reduced availability of essential nutrients.
Enteropathic acrodermatitis is usually caused by mutations in the SLC39A4 gene, which is responsible for encoding a protein involved in zinc absorption in the intestines.
The condition is typically inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that both parents must carry a mutated copy of the gene for a child to inherit the disorder.
The treatment for enteropathic acrodermatitis primarily involves zinc supplementation, which can help alleviate the skin lesions and other symptoms associated with zinc deficiency.
However, lifelong zinc supplementation is typically required to manage the condition effectively.
It’s essential for individuals with this disorder to work closely with healthcare professionals to monitor and manage their zinc levels and overall health.