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August 1978

Beta Carotene in Congenital Porphyria

Author Affiliations

Sheffield, England

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(8):1242-1243. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640200090034

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To the Editor.—  Dr George Stretcher, in his article on erythropoietic porphyria, which appeared in the November Archives (113:1553-1557,1977), makes a reference to the lack of information about the long-term treatment with beta carotene.In 1973,I described a young woman, aged 18, with congenital porphyria at the Royal Society of Medicine (Proc R Soc Med 67:593-594,1974). The patient had usually suffered from intense blistering every summer and the typical sclerodermatous change of her face and hands had developed. In the summer of 1973, she had been given beta carotene, 25 mg three times a day, throughout the summer months and had been able to go out-of-doors in the sunshine without any skin blistering. Previously, she had never been able to expose her skin to sunshine without blistering and she would not venture out before dusk. Since then, she has taken beta carotene in the same dosage from April to October

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