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November 1968

Iron Metabolism in Skin Disease

Arch Dermatol. 1968;98(5):469-475. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610170029003

Serum iron concentration and total iron binding capacity have been measured in 100 patients with different dermatoses. Serum iron concentration has been found to be reduced in a number of these patients and this hypoferremia has often been associated with a normal or decreased iron binding capacity. This defect of iron metabolism has been studied further in some of the patients in whom its absorption, iron loss from the skin and bowel, disappearance of59Fe from the plasma, and incorporation of59Fe into the erythrocytes have been measured. Some patients with skin disease are truly iron deficient as a result of excessive loss of iron in scales or as a result of malabsorption, but in the majority of cases the hypoferremia of skin disease is due to a metabolic abnormality of iron metabolism similar to that which occurs in infection.