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Cutis laxa is a rare, inherited or acquired connective tissue disorder characterised by loosely hanging skin that lacks elasticity. Cutis laxa is also known as generalised elastolysis. Extremely wrinkled skin may be particularly noticeable on the neck and in the armpits and groin. Cutis laxa can also affect connective tissue in other parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, joints, intestines, and lungs. The disorder can cause heart problems and abnormal narrowing, bulging, or tearing of critical arteries.
HOW IS CUTIS LAXA DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis of cutis laxa is based upon identification of the symptoms, a detailed patient history, a thorough clinical evaluation and a variety of specialized tests. Surgical removal and microscopic examination (biopsy) of affected skin can reveal characteristic changes in elastic fibers. Molecular genetic testing can detect mutations in specific genes known to cause cutis laxa.
HOW IS CUTIS LAXA TREATED?
The treatment of cutis laxa is based on the specific symptoms that are diagnosed in the patient. Treatment may require the coordinated efforts of a team of specialists. Paediatricians, surgeons, dermatologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, neurologists, and other healthcare professionals may need to systematically and comprehensively plan an affect child’s treatment. Genetic counselling may be of benefit for affected individuals and their families. Psychosocial support for the entire family is essential as well. Medicines may be prescribed in some cases and cosmetic surgery may be required for various skin types.
DID YOU KNOW?
Poor muscle tone and short stature are also some symptoms of the condition.