Dyskeratosis Congenita was originally described as a triad of conditions: reticulated (net like) skin pigmentation, nail deformities, and oral Leukoplakia (white plaque). Even though this is an outdated description, those three physical aspects still hold true with Dyskeratosis.
For these reasons, Clark sees his regular dermatologist every 6–12 months. She checks him head to toe for any skin abnormalities. She also monitors the deterioration of his fingernails and toenails, since he has Dysplastic nails. During Clark’s last visit, she noticed some Leukoplakia on the inside of his cheeks and tongue.
Leukoplakia is white plaque that forms on the tongue or the lining of the mouth. It can become painful, making it difficult to swallow or chew. Fortunately, Clark doesn’t have any pain.
There is the possibility that Leukoplakia can become cancerous. Because of this, Clark’s dermatologist referred him to see an oral specialist. I wasn’t sure what to expect; I was worried the specialist would need to do a biopsy. Thankfully, all he had to do was paint a blue dye in Clark’s mouth. If the Leukoplakia is cancerous, the dye visibly changes colour. It didn’t! Clark’s mouth is cancer free.
Due to the nature of Dyskeratosis, Clark will need to have his mouth monitored annually to be sure it remains cancer free.