By Gary M. White, MD

Rothmund-Thomson syndrome (RTS) or poikiloderma congenitale is a rare geno-photodermatosis of autosomal recessive inheritance, featuring a DNA damage repair defect.


There is the onset of redness of the face at 2-6 months of age progressing to poikiloderma and extending to the extremities over time. Photosensitivity is typical. Sparse scalp hair and sparse or absent eyelashes/eyebrows may be seen.


The skin changes should be treated with strict sun avoidance. The pulsed dye laser has been reported successful at decreasing the redness. Genetic counseling should be done.


A 13-year-old boy presented with poikiloderma and absent eyebrows/eyelashes with onset at four months of age. He would develop facial erythema and edema after brief sun exposure, subsiding with hyperpigmentation in 2-3 days. Poikiloderma had developed over the years involving the face, extremities, and buttocks in that order ​[Indian Dermatol Online J. 2014 Oct-Dec; 5(4): 518–519


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