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December 1981

Red Palms and Orange Palms

Author Affiliations

Auburn, Mass

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(12):757. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650120003001

To the Editor.—  Carotenoderma results from the excessive ingestion of carotenoids. β-Carotene is the most important and prevalent carotenoid.1 Carotenoderma is not always the result of faddism or therapeutic photoprotection.

Report of a Case.—  A 28-year-old woman from Sierra Leone, West Africa, was seen, in December 1980, with a one-week history of a generalized, pruritic eruption. Physical examination showed a diffuse, guttate, papulosquamous dermatitis. Many lesions were oval and followed the skin folds. The palms and soles did not have the lesions but were orange. A diagnosis of pityriasis rosea was made, and the patient was treated symptomatically. History disclosed that the patient had had orange palms and soles during her entire lifetime. A detailed dietary history disclosed nothing unusual other than her use of red palm oil.Laboratory studies disclosed the following values: serum β-carotene, 227 μg/dL (normal, 40 to 150 μg/dL total thyroxine, 6.9 μg/dL (normal, 4.5

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