The daily educational pearl – Acrodermatitis enteropathica

Acrodermatitis enteropathica

= skin condition characterised by pustules, bullae, and scaling in an acral and periorificial distribution that occurs secondary to zinc deficiency

Picture from Dermatlas can be found here.

There are 2 types:

– inherited (mutation in the gene which encodes an intestinal zinc transporter, resulting in malabsorption)

– acquired if the diet is low in zinc (after bowel surgery, in patients with inflammatory bowel disease or in alcoholics OR breast milk low in zinc in breastfed babies).

Patients will have diarrhea both a symptom of zinc deficiency and because they are predisposed to GI infections.

Treatment is zinc supplementation.