Research project pityriasis rubra pilaris

Investigating how host defence mechanisms cause skin disease in pityriasis rubra pilaris

Pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP) is an extremely rare inflammatory disorder of the skin and its cause remains unknown. It is characterised by scaly psoriatic lesions on the skin of sufferers that can cover the whole body. It can be extremely difficult to treat and currently no cure exists for the disease.

PRP occurs spontaneously on the skin of adults, usually in their fifth or sixth decade, or if there is a genetic predisposition, in babies and infants, in whom it can manifest in a very severe phenotype and can persist chronically for years.

The disease may arise from defective communication signals between the immune system and the skin. It is the aim of this project to better understand what these are and how known genetic mutations might result in these miscommunication signals. This will provide more specific therapeutic targets for the future.