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February 1975

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda in Young Women

Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(2):263-264. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630140121017

To the Editor.—  Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) or symptomatic porphyria is the commonest of the recognized disorders of porphyrin metabolism.1-3 Although its symptoms are restricted to the skin, the considerable discomfort and disfigurement that often result warrant a careful search for this treatable disease1,4-7 in all patients having erosions, bullae, milia, scarring, or sclerodermatous change of sun-exposed skin, hirsutism, generalized hyperpigmentation, or a history of pink urine.Recently, two young women with classic findings of PCT were seen in our clinic an average of 18 months after first seeking medical attention. Because of the patients' youth, sex, and absence of alcoholism or liver disease, the diagnosis of PCT apparently was not considered by the physicians initially consulted. Urine specimens from both women showed coral-red fluorescence with Wood light illumination, permitting firm diagnosis1 during the first clinic visit. Subsequently, 24-hour urine collections revealed the porphyrin profile of PCT

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