DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), the genetic code, sustains damage daily from for instance chemicals and sunlight. Normally, the damaged DNA is excised and replaced with new DNA during the ongoing natural process of DNA repair. Failure to repair damaged DNA leads to the accumulation of genetic mutations that may cause cancer.
In xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), a rare inherited disease, there is failure of DNA repair following exposure to sunlight, and sufferers develop skin cancers and can also become blind. Xeroderma stands for dry skin and pigmentosum means pigmented, denoting the finding of dry pigmented skin in this condition. Skin lesions in XP resemble blackcurrants – blackcurrant rash.
Avoiding sunlight assists XP patients.
Orosco RK, Wang T, Byrne PJ. Xeroderma pigmentosum in an African-American. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec, 2011 73(3):162-5. Go to reference
DNA and DNA repair