Ectodermal Dysplasia

Ectodermal dysplasias (ED) are a group of more than 180 disorders that affect the outer layer of tissue of the embryo (ectoderm) that helps make up the skin, sweat glands, hair, teeth, and nails. Symptoms of ED can range from mild to severe and may include teeth abnormalities; brittle, sparse or absent hair; abnormal fingernails; inability to perspire (hypohidrosis); various skin problems; and other symptoms. Different types of EDs are caused by mutations in different genes, and can be inherited in a variety of ways. No cure currently exist for the different types of ED, but many treatments are available to address the individual symptoms.