• Users Online: 2234
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

  Table of Contents  
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-39  

Netherton syndrome: A rare genodermatosis

Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College, Jagdalpur, India

Date of Web Publication21-Apr-2011

Correspondence Address:
Vivek Kumar Dey
House No.-3, Phase IV, Varghese Colony, Jagdalpur, C.G. 494 001
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.79852

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Dey VK. Netherton syndrome: A rare genodermatosis. Indian Dermatol Online J 2011;2:38-9

How to cite this URL:
Dey VK. Netherton syndrome: A rare genodermatosis. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Jan 25];2:38-9. Available from: https://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2011/2/1/38/79852


Netherton syndrome (NS) is a rare autosomal recessive hereditary ichthyosiform disease. The classical triad of clinical features comprises an ichthyosiform dermatosis, hair shaft abnormalities, and atopic diathesis. [1] Usually, a generalized erythroderma is present at birth or soon after. Later, skin manifestations can present either as ichthyosis linearis circumflexa (ILC), characterized by polycyclic and serpiginous, erythematous plaques with a characteristic migratory, double-edged scale at the margins, or less frequently as congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (CIE). Two-thirds of patients have various atopic manifestations and elevated immunoglobulin class E (IgE). [2] Hair shaft abnormalities include trichorrhexis invaginata, pili torti and/or trichorrhexis nodosa. [3],[4]

An 8-year-old boy, reported with generalized scaly lesions since infancy. The boy was the first issue of nonconsanguineous parents. Erythema, desquamation, and scaling started in the first year of life and lesions typical of ILC began to appear at the age of 3 year. Personal history of atopic like eczema, allergic rhinitis, and recurrent urticaria was present. The child was of average built with widespread erythematous, serpiginous, annular or polycyclic, scaly eruptions with double-edged scales at the periphery of the lesions distributed more on extremities than on trunk [Figure 1]. The lesions were continuously changing their patterns, size, and shape with a migratory nature, involuting in a week or two without any scarring, atrophy, or pigmentary changes. Skin was dry due to hypohidrosis. Multiple erythematous and pruritic papules were present on trunk but not in typical distribution of atopic dermatitis. Flexural lichenification was not evident. Scalp hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes were sparse, rough, brittle, lusterless, and slow growing [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. However, light microscopy could not show bamboo hair (trichorrhexis invaginata). Nails were normal in texture and growth. Allergic rhinitis, chronic blepharitis, and ectropion were present [Figure 3]. Complete hematological checkup showed mild anemia and peripheral eosinophilia. Histopathological examination could not be done due to nonconsent of parents. On the bases of ichthyosis linearis circumflexa, hair anomaly and atopic manifestations, a diagnosis of Netherton syndrome was made.
Figure 1: Gyrate lesions with double-edged scaling

Click here to view
Figure 2: Sparse, rough, brittle, and lusterless scalp hair

Click here to view
Figure 3: Chronic blephritis and ectropion

Click here to view

NS is caused by mutation in serine protease inhibitor, Kazal type 5 gene (SPINK5), which is located on the long arm of Chromosome 5. Hair shaft abnormalities manifested as trichorrhexis invaginata, pili torti and/or trichorrhexis nodosa. [4] This may not be detectable at birth, and may disappear with age. [5]

Atopy is usually manifested as atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions, angioedema, allergic rhinitis, asthma, urticaria, food allergy, peripheral eosinophilia, and elevated IgE. In many patients, skin lesions are not clinically eczematous, and they do not respond to appropriate eczema therapy. [6]

Gastrointestinal involvement in the form of dermopathic enteropathy with villous atrophy and diarrhea may lead to poor weight gaining in early childhood. Other associations include aminoaciduria, recurrent infections, mental and neurological retardation and impaired cellular immunity. Histopathologic examination is not specific and may show the features of hyperkeratosis, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. [5]

The therapy with topical steroids, tacrolimus, tars, emollients, PUVA, and oral vitamin A derivatives is not satisfactory and risk of systemic toxicity is high because of increased percutaneous absorption. [5]

   References Top

1.Greene SL, Muller SA. Netherton's syndrome. Report of a case and review of the literature. J Am Acad Dermatol 1985;13:329-37.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Sun JD, Linden KG. Netherton syndrome. Report of a case and review of the literature. J Dermatol 2006;45:693-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Blaschke S, Möller R, Hauser I, Lamprecht IA, Paul E. Comel-Netherton-Syndrom. Hautartzt 1998;49:499-504.   Back to cited text no. 3
4.Hurwitz S. Hereditary skin disorders: The genodermatoses, In: Hurwitz, editor. Clinical pediatric dermatology. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 1993. p. 173.   Back to cited text no. 4
5.Fleckman P, Digiovanna JJ. The Icthyosis. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7 th ed, Vol. 1. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2008. p. 416.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Judge MR, McLean WH, Munro CS. Disorders of Keratinization. Rook's Textbook of dermatology. 7 th ed, Vol. 2. Oxford: Blackwell Science; 2004. p. 34.35.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded513    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal