• The brown pigmentation of the skin associated with venous ulceration is caused by increased local iron deposition. Diagnostic x-ray spectrometry, a method based on x-ray fluorescence analysis, was used for the noninvasive determination of iron levels in the skin of patients with venous ulceration. The mean (±SEM) iron concentration in the skin around the venous ulcer was elevated, compared with control values of nonulcerated skin (250 ± 54 vs 128 ± 39 μg) and compared with normal skin from the forearm (250 ± 54 vs 14 ± 2.5 μg). These data suggest that dermal iron deposition may not be an incidental by-product of increased venous pressure, but may actively perpetuate tissue damage in venous ulcerations.
(Arch Dermatol 1988;124:1376-1378)
Ackerman Z, Seidenbaum M, Loewenthal E, Rubinow A. Overload of Iron in the Skin of Patients With Varicose Ulcers: Possible Contributing Role of Iron Accumulation in Progression of the Disease. Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(9):1376–1378. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670090032006
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