Symptoms of Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Porphyria cutanea tarda(PCT) is a type of disease that affects the skin. It is caused due to the deficieny of an enzyme called heme. People suffering from PCT have severe skins rashes, itching and redness when exposed to sunlight. Some people also experience hyperpigmentation and excessive hair growthin many parts of the body.

While PCT can seem similar to many other skin troubles there are some of the common symptoms of porphyria cutanea tarda that are mentioned below for better understanding of this skin disease.

Symptoms of Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Symtpoms of Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT)

  • The most commonly visible symptom is blistering and fragility in the hands, face and forearms.
  • Urine discoloration is also seen in some patients but the discoloration has to be evaluated.
  • Changes in skin pigmentation and changes in hair growth are also seen as a symptom of Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT). The sunlight exposure may lead to subsequent growth and expansions of the lesions in the patients suffering from this disease.
  • Heterozygous or homozygous familial forms of the disease may be seen in the childhood onset of Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT).
  • A chemical hepatoxin is also believed to be one of the major causes behind the onset of this disease. People are also seen to have itching, swelling, blisters in Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT).
  • Pain in the abdomen, limbs, chest and back is also seen in the patients. In acute Porphyria cutanea tarda numbness of limbs, tiredness, paralysis, cramping, vomiting, tingling and constipation is also seen. The acute attack of the disease may begin over few hours and it may last for few days or few weeks.
  • The symptoms are different in different patients and the visibility of the symptoms depends upon the severity of the disease. In some patients who are suffering from this disease due to the genetic mutation, no visible signs or symptoms of this disease may actually appear. This kind of disease is called as latent Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT). Doctors may decide to use various kinds of test for identifying and evaluating the disease.
  • Fragility of skin which is exposed to sunlight is another common symptom. This skin fragility may get worsen up after any kind of mechanical trauma which may result in bullae or erosion.
  • Hypopigmented atopic scars and hyperpigmented patches are some of the common symptoms of the disease.
  • On the facial areas one may observe hypertrichosis and it may spread to arms and legs as well.


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