February 2003

Pseudoporphyria Induced by Oral Contraceptive Pills

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2003 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2003

Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(2):227. doi:10.1001/archderm.139.2.227

We report a case of pseudoporphyria associated only with the use of oral contraceptive pills (OCP) and natural sun exposure. Pseudoporphyria has not been reported to be secondary to OCP use although OCP are a known inducer of porphyria cutanea tarda.1

Four months after starting the low-dose estrogen OCP Alesse (levonorgestrel, 100 µg, and ethinyl estradiol, 20 µg; Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, Pa), a 40-year-old white woman with skin type II presented with skin fragility on her sun-exposed forearms. She denied taking any other medication or using a sunbed.2 On examination, there were clear blisters, crusted erosions, and stellate scars, limited to her sun-exposed forearms.