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November 1999

Hepatitis C Virus–Related Skin Diseases

Author Affiliations

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Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(11):1401-1403. doi:10.1001/archderm.135.11.1401

THE HEPATITIS C virus (HCV) was identified 10 years ago thanks to research in molecular biology.1 At present, HCV infection is a major public health problem in many countries, with the worldwide prevalence of HCV markers ranging from from 0.1% to 5% (including 150 million chronic carriers). Infection becomes chronic in 70% to 80% of cases and is complicated by cirrhosis within 20 years of contamination in about 20% of them. Once the cirrhotic process has begun, the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma ranges from 1% to 4%. Factors leading to more severe liver injury include excessive alcohol comsumption, older age at the time of initial infection, immunosuppression, and specific genotypes. During the course of HCV infection, many extrahepatic manifestations have been reported.2

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