ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hands of a 43-year-old male patient with porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT), a type of cutaneous porphyria. Porphyria is the name given to a group of disorders caused by an enzyme deficiency that leads to a build-up of porphyrin in the body. This can cause the skin to become photosensitive and burn or blister easily. PCT is the only porphyria disorder that may be caused by something other than an inherited genetic fault. Triggers include heavy drinking, some drugs, iron supplements and liver infections. Treatment of porphyria depends on the enzyme involved, but may include drugs or restricting sun exposure.
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