Dyschromatosis universalis hereditaria (DUH) and dyschromatosis symmetrica hereditaria (DSH) are pigmentary dermatoses most commonly seen in Japan. Both disorders usually show autosomal dominant inheritance, although in some cases autosomal recessive inheritance was reported. DSH was mapped to chromosome 1q21.3, and mutations in the gene ADAR (DSRAD) were identified in Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese families with autosomal dominant DSH. A second locus for dyschromatosis was mapped on chromosome 6q24.2-q25.2 in two Chinese families initially reported to be affected with DSH, but later suggested to have autosomal dominant DUH. The aim of this study was to investigate whether one of these two loci is involved in the development of DUH in a consanguineous Bedouin family from Saudi Arabia with four affected and three unaffected sibs, clearly pointing to autosomal recessive inheritance. After excluding mutations in ADAR and linkage to the candidate regions on chromosomes 1 and 6, we performed an single nucleotide polymorphism-based genome-wide scan for linkage with other loci. Under the assumption of autosomal recessive inheritance, we have identified a new locus for dyschromatosis on chromosome 12q21-q23 in this Arab family with a maximum logarithm of the odds (LOD) score of 3.4, spanning a distance of 18.9 cM. Our study revealed the first locus for autosomal recessive DUH and supports recent evidence that DSH and DUH are genetically distinct disorders.