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Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer, 2005.
Bazex-Dupré-Christol syndrome is also known as 'Bazex syndrome' and 'follicular atrophoderma-basal cell carcinoma'.
Acrokeratosis neoplasia is also known by the name 'Bazex syndrome' but this is an unrelated rare paraneoplastic syndrome. And the term follicular atrophoderma is incorrect as it infers thinning of the follicular skin, which is not found in Bazex syndrome. Instead, the follicles are widened and inflamed.
Bazex-Dupré-Christol syndrome is a rare X-linked dominant inherited disorder of the hair follicle characterised by:
Widened hair follicles are present at birth or in early childhood in children with Bazex-Dupré-Christol syndrome. They appear as "ice-pick marks", most commonly found on the upper surface of the hands, elbows, feet and face. Anhidrosis (inability to sweat) of the face and head may also occur.
In adulthood, around 20-30 years old, basal cell carcinomas begin to appear on the face. These are similar to the tumours of Gorlin syndrome. However, patients with Bazex-Dupré-Christol do not have the skeletal abnormalities, plantar pits or other features of Gorlin syndrome.
Apart from the presence of multiple basal cell carcinomas, the other symptoms of Bazex syndrome are inconsistent and vary between patients. A study of 20 patients from one family spanning across four generations show that the males of the family have uniformly severe disease, whereas the females show a range of severity of the syndrome. The most striking difference found is males have diffuse hypotrichosis that affects all scalp hairs, whilst females show little or no hypotrichosis.
Bazex-Dupré-Christol syndrome should be considered as a differential diagnosis in patients with early-onset or familial basal cell carcinomas.
All patients with Bazex-Dupré-Christol syndrome should see a dermatologist for regular skin examinations so that basal cell carcinomas can be treated when they are small. This may require surgery or one of the many other treatments available for these tumours including cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, fluorouracil cream and imiquimod cream. They should not receive treatment with irradiation as this is liable to provoke the development of more tumours.
Sun protection is vital to reduce the number of skin cancers developing but even complete protection will not prevent all basal cell carcinomas in patients with Bazex-Dupre-Christol syndrome.
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