Dermatological symptoms

Dermatological symptoms are many and specific to TSC. They concern almost all patients at a point in their lives. In most cases, these affections are not dangerous per se, but they are often disgraceful and can be unpleasant for the affected person.

1- Face Angiofibromas are common in TSC patients and concern 90 % of them in the adulthood. These skin lesions appear from the age of 3 years. Those small tumefactions of reddish color are due to the erratic production of cutaneous micro-vessels or fibers on the face. These skin lesions can be reduced or eliminated by laser but they usually reappear after a few months. These laser treatments are only performed in specialized healthcare centers.


Angiofibromas / Hamartomas Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Source: dermatological deparment – CHU of Nantes, France

A recent publication in the ‘ Harvard School of Medicine ‘ review recommends to limit the exposure to sun and especially in summer. Sun exposure may favor proliferations of the cutaneous lesions and their severities.

2- Achromic spots (of white color) are also very frequent in TSC patients and are noticeable from the first months of life. They are situated on the whole body (members, back, belly), sometimes go unnoticed. An examination in the Wood light (ultraviolet light) performed by a dermatologist help localize them better.

3- « Shagreen » plaques are present in 30 % of TSC patients. They arise generally during the childhood and are mainly situated in the lower back. In some places, skin seems a little thickened and discolored.

4- A fibrous plaque at the forehead is less frequent but is very specific to  Tuberous Sclerosis, with a texture of thicker and not uniform skin of red color.

5- Fibro-nail keratomas appear generally in the adulthood and affect 50% of the patients. It is about outgrowths of flesh which appear on the edge of the nail of the hand or the foot. They can be more or less voluminous and sometimes painful when they are in contact. Minor interventions allow to reduce them or to eliminate them.


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