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Porphyria Cutanea Tarda Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Maureen B Poh-Fitzpatrick, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Mar 24, 2016

Diagnostic Considerations

Other porphyrias, pseudoporphyrias, and photoaggravated bullous dermatoses can manifest with clinical features indistinguishable from those of porphyria cutanea tarda. Failure to obtain sufficient biochemical confirmation of the diagnosis can lead to inappropriate treatment of non–porphyria cutanea tarda disorders.

Differential Diagnoses

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Maureen B Poh-Fitzpatrick, MD Professor Emerita of Dermatology and Special Lecturer, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Maureen B Poh-Fitzpatrick, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, New York Academy of Medicine, New York Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Julia R Nunley, MD Professor, Program Director, Dermatology Residency, Department of Dermatology, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center

Julia R Nunley, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology, Medical Dermatology Society, Medical Society of Virginia, National Kidney Foundation, Phi Beta Kappa, Women's Dermatologic Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: American Board of Dermatology<br/>Co-Editor for the text Dermatological Manifestations of Kidney Disease .

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Craig A Elmets, MD Professor and Chair, Department of Dermatology, Director, Chemoprevention Program Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, UAB Skin Diseases Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine

Craig A Elmets, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Association of Immunologists, American College of Physicians, American Federation for Medical Research, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: University of Alabama at Birmingham; University of Alabama Health Services Foundation<br/>Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Ferndale Laboratories<br/>Received research grant from: NIH, Veterans Administration, California Grape Assn<br/>Received consulting fee from Astellas for review panel membership; Received salary from Massachusetts Medical Society for employment; Received salary from UpToDate for employment. for: Astellas.

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Thickened skin with blisters, scars, and milia. Courtesy of Dirk Elston, MD.
Close-up image of blisters, scarring, and milia. Courtesy of Dirk Elston, MD.
Subepidermal bulla, festooning of rete ridges, hyalinization of blood vessel walls, solar elastosis, and caterpillar bodies. Courtesy of Dirk Elston, MD.
Fluorescence of urine with a Wood light examination. Courtesy of Brooke Army Medical Center Teaching File.
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