JUL 15, 2017 11:29 AM PDT

Scientists Declare Brand New Category of Skin Disorders

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

Chronic skin disorders are often grouped and studied together although on a molecular level, they are very different. From Nagoya University, researchers suggest defining a completely new category of chronic skin disorders, characterized by specific genetic mutations that trigger inflammation.
 

Autoinflammatory keratinization diseases (AIKD), a new class of skin disorders, with a genetic cause rooted in the body's innate immune system. Credit: Nagoya University

 

“Many skin disorders are put into the very broad group of inflammatory keratinization diseases,” explained lead author Masashi Akiyama. “This term is not very helpful because it covers so many kinds of skin problems and doesn't consider if the [root] cause is inflammatory or genetic, or a combination of both.”
 

Keratinization is the process of forming the outer layer of skin, involving tough, water-resistant proteins such as keratin and lipids like ceramides. Keratins are structural proteins that provide a foundation for keratinocytes, the most common type of cell in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. There are many different subtypes of keratins, which means there are many different, highly specific ways to disrupt keratinization. And if something disturbs keratinization, skin problems erupt.
 

Allergic reactions to particular allergens, eczema, and other autoimmune reactions are all capable of disturbing keratinization and causing a chronic skin condition. But in their most recent study, Nagoya researchers are making an important distinction, specifying a certain type of skin condition caused by what Akiyama calls an “autoinflammatory” response with a genetic basis. Instead of the trigger being an irritant or allergen, it’s an individual’s set of genes that directs the inflammatory response.
 

Identifying the true cause of any disorder is the first step toward finding the right drug, lifestyle change, or gene therapy for those afflicted.
 

"We have been finding more and more of these autoinflammatory related skin diseases and it's time we recognize this as a new category of inflammatory keratinization disease," explained co-author Kazumitsu Sugiura. "A better understanding of the root causes of skin problems is the only way for physicians to help patients manage their conditions and develop more effective treatments."
 

The present study was published in the journal Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

 

 

Sources: Oman Medical Journal, Nagoya University

 
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
OCT 19, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Mouse Fathers Passed Immunity Onto Offpsring After Infection
OCT 19, 2021
Mouse Fathers Passed Immunity Onto Offpsring After Infection
Parents pass their genes on to their children. But they can pass down other things too with epigenetic marks, chemical t ...
OCT 19, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Researchers develop a potent antiviral drug for dengue fever
OCT 19, 2021
Researchers develop a potent antiviral drug for dengue fever
Dengue fever is a mosquito borne illness that is widespread, especially in tropical countries. The global incidence of d ...
NOV 04, 2021
Immunology
Trial Flop: Experimental Asthma Treatment Makes Symptoms Worse
NOV 04, 2021
Trial Flop: Experimental Asthma Treatment Makes Symptoms Worse
One causes red, scaly patches on the skin, and the other triggers breathing difficulties, but there are some common thre ...
NOV 23, 2021
Immunology
Obesity Drives Inflammation, Puts Teeth at Risk
NOV 23, 2021
Obesity Drives Inflammation, Puts Teeth at Risk
Work by University at Buffalo researchers has identified a link between obesity and gum disease. As gum disease escalate ...
JAN 02, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
There are Glial Cells in the Gut & They Have an Important Role
JAN 02, 2022
There are Glial Cells in the Gut & They Have an Important Role
Glia were once thought of as cells that provide support to neurons in the brain. But researchers at the Crick Institute ...
JAN 06, 2022
Immunology
Worryingly High Levels of Free Radicals in COVID Patients
JAN 06, 2022
Worryingly High Levels of Free Radicals in COVID Patients
  COVID-19 infections trigger widespread oxidative damage, says new research by scientists from the Baylor College ...
Loading Comments...