In "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," the Wicked Witch melted away when she is exposed to water. In Araras, Brazil, the residents are suffering from a similar phenomenon courtesy of sun exposure.

Villagers in the small town of Araras -- located in midwest of Brazil -- are plagued with a rare skin disease called xeroderma pigmentosum (colloquially referred to as "XP"). In fact, the region is believed to be the home to the largest single group of people with the condition with an estimated one in 40 incidence rate. Those inflicted with XP are sensitive to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, which makes living in the area extremely difficults since farming is the predominant line of work.

"I was always exposed to the sun -- working, planting and harvesting rice and caring for the cows," said Djalma Antonio Jardim, 38, to the Associate Press. "As the years passed my condition got worse."

Here are four fast facts about xeroderma pigmentosum:

1. Xeroderma pigmentosum has many subtypes, including: XP, type B (XPB); XP, type C (XPC), XP, type D (XPD); XP, type E (XPE); XP, type F (XPF); and XP, type G (XPG). The different subtypes differ by how they are transmitted genetically, the different defects, and symptoms.

2. Why does the town have such a high rate of the condition? Experts believe it has to do with the fact that the village was founded by a few families, many of whom carried the disease, and over time, the villagers intermarried and the gene was passed on to future generations. The rate of incidence of xeroderma pigmentosum in the United States is one in 1,000,000, but it is more prevalent in Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East.

3. The inherited skin condition is characterized by extreme sensitivity to UV rays from the sun and mostly affects the eyes and areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight. Due to UV sensitivity, many who have this condition are at risk of skin cancer. Signs of xeroderma pigmentosum appear in early childhood and in some cases, even infancy.

4. Xeroderma pigmentosum is caused by mutations in genes that are responsible for repairing damaged DNA. Those who suffer from the condition are also at risk of neurological abnormalities, hearing loss, poor coordination, difficulty walking, loss of intellectual function, seizures, and more.