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Dermatology Online Journal

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A case of porphyria cutanea tarda in the setting of hepatitis C infection and tobacco usage


Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is the most common type of porphyria, presenting in middle-aged patients with a photodistributed vesiculobullous eruption, milia, and scars. Porphyria cutanea tarda occurs in relation to inhibition of uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase, a key enzyme in the heme biosynthesis pathway. A number of genetic and acquired factors increase susceptibility to PCT by reducing uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase activity. A handful of other vesiculobullous conditions may mimic PCT both clinically and histologically; therefore, both skin biopsy and laboratory evaluation are helpful in confirming the diagnosis. We report a case of PCT in the setting of cigarette usage and untreated hepatitis C infection.

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