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November 1960

Localized Carotenoid Pigmentation (Aurantiasis)

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Medicine (Dermatology) Montefiore Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(5):820-821. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580050162025

This case report deals with an unusual localization of carotenoid pigment associated with diffuse arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, following overingestion of saffron.

Carotenemia is due either to metabolic error as in diabetes, xanthoma, and myxedema, or to the excessive ingestion of lipochromes in oranges, carrots, egg yolks, saffron, and other brightly colored foods.1,2 The nasolabial folds, the palms, and soles are the sites of predilection affected in mild cases; when severe, pigmentation is generalized except in the sclerae.3 Hashimoto4 gave the concept the name "aurantiasis" when it is a result merely of overingestion. Wolf,5 Auckland,6 and McConaghey7 reported cases in persons following eccentric dietary habits.

Carotene is the yellow coloring matter in the lipochromes of carrots, spinach, palm oil, and nettles. It is a highly concentrated hydrocarbon, C40H56, existing in three forms—α, β, and γ. All these are precursors of vitamin A,

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