Skin inflammatory (nontumor)
Pigmentary disorders

Author: Mowafak Hamodat, M.D., MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC (see Authors page)

Revised: 22 October 2018, last major update July 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Hemochromatosis [title] skin

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Cite this page: Hamodat, M. Hemochromatosis. website. Accessed February 19th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Multisystemic disorder of iron metabolism with cutaneous manifestations in up to 90% of patients
  • Typically bronze pigmentation in the forehead and malar area ("bronzed diabetes"), may also be slate-gray
  • Pigmentation fades as iron levels decline
  • See also Liver chapter
  • Phlebotomy
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Thinning of the epidermis, increased melanin pigment in the basal layer
  • Golden brown granules of hemosiderin in the basement membrane region of sweat glands and in macrophages in loose connective tissue stroma of these glands
  • A small amount of hemosiderin is associated with sebaceous glands and their stroma
  • Small specks of hemosiderin can be seen in the epidermis with Pearls stain
Additional references