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Skin manifestations of nutritional deficiency disease in children: modern day contexts


Albert C. Yan, MD
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
34th and Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Nutritional deficiency syndromes, such as scurvy, pellagra, and beriberi are of historical significance but have largely disappeared from modern society. However, certain populations of children in modern society are at risk of severe nutritional complications. The rarity of these syndromes and lack of understanding about modern-day risk factors for nutritional deficiency often delays diagnosis. Dermatologists must maintain an appropriate index of suspicion for these characteristic syndromes as many of the deficiency states present with cutaneous manifestations. Here we review the cutaneous manifestations of macronutrient and micronutrient deficiency syndromes as well as those populations of children that remain at risk for developing severe disease.