Porphyria cutanea tarda is the most common of the porphyrias, with significant cutaneous involvement. This form may be hereditary but far more frequently is due to an exogenous agent, such as alcohol, oestrogens, iron, antimalarials (high doses), hexachlorobenzene, and chlorinated phenols. Other predisposing factors include diabetes mellitus and hepatitis C. While patients do have photosensitivity, there is some delay between sun exposure and the development of the lesions and they actually complain of skin fragility and, conversely, may appear sun-tanned.
Other main clinical features include bullae and erosions on a background of normal skin with atrophic scars from healed previous lesions. Small milia may also be present. Patients may develop hypertrichosis and sclero-dermatous changes on the face. The diagnosis is made by history, clinical features and elevated urinary porphyrins and the treatment includes the discontinuation of exacerbating factors, phlebotomy or low-dose chloroquine, 125 mg twice a week.
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...