Rare skin diseases Images

In this April 9, 2014 photo, Dr. Sulamita Chaibub assists Djalma Antonio Jardim, who has a rare inherited skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP, ” at the Hospital Geral de Goias in Goiania, Goias state, Brazil.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

In this March 4, 2014 photo, Rafael Freire de Andrade, 8, who suffers from a rare inherited skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP, ” rides his bike that has a cardboard box to shade himself from th sun, in the Araras community of Brazil’s Goias state.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

In this March 3, 2014 photo, Djalma Antonio Jardim who has a rare inherited skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP, ” looks in a a mirror at his home in the Araras community of Brazil’s Goias state.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

In this April 9, 2014 photo, Deides Freire de Andrade, right, and Djalma Antonio Jardim, behind him, both who have a rare inherited skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP, ” wait for medical attention at the Hospital Geral de Goias in Goiania, Goias state, Brazil.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

APTOPIX Brazil Rare Disease Photo GalleryIn this March 3, 2014 photo, Alisson Wendel Machado Freire, 11, listens to his grandfather Jose Claudio Machado, 77, play the guitar inside their home in the Araras community of Brazil’s Goias state.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

In this April 9, 2014 photo, Djalma Antonio Jardim, who has a rare inherited skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP, ” holds his number as he waits for medical attention at the Hospital Geral de Goias in Goiania, Goias state, Brazil.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

In this March 4, 2014 photo, Joao Goncalves da Silva, 80, talks with his wife Geraldina Aleixo da Silva, 75, at their home in the Araras community in Brazil’s Goias state.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

APTOPIX Brazil Rare Disease Photo GalleryIn this April 9, 2014 photo, Dr. Sulamita Chaibub assists Djalma Antonio Jardim who has a rare inherited skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP” at the Hospital Geral de Goias in Goiania, Goias state, Brazil.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

Agriculture is no longer a real option for Jardim. He survives on a small government pension and meagre earnings from an ice cream parlour he runs.

XP shows early signs that it has taken hold of its victims.

Jardim says he was just 9 when a large number of freckles and small lumps started appearing on his face – the tell-tale signs that experts say signal XP is present in children and call for serious precautions to be taken to protect them against the sun.

Such precaution wasn’t taken for Jardim, who now wears a large straw hat in an effort to protect his face. But it’s helped little. He has undergone more than 50 surgeries to remove skin tumors.

In an effort to camouflage how the disease has eaten away the skin on his lips, nose, cheeks and eyes, Jardim wears a rudimentary orange-tinted mask, its stenciled-in right eyebrow not matching his bushy real one that remains.

Beyond skin damage and cancers that XP patients get, about one in five may also suffer from deafness, spastic muscles, poor co-ordination or developmental delays, according to the U.S.-based National Cancer Institute.

More than 20 people in this community of about 800 have XP. That’s an incidence rate of about one in 40 people – far higher than the one in 1 million people in the United States who have it.

Brazil Rare Disease Photo Gallery Brazil Rare Disease Photo Gallery APTOPIX Brazil Rare Disease Photo Gallery APTOPIX Brazil Rare Disease Photo Gallery
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