Skin nontumor
Pigmentary disorders

Topic Completed: 1 July 2011

Minor changes: 28 August 2020

Copyright: 2002-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Hemochromatosis [title] skin

Mowafak Hamodat, M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc.
Page views in 2019: 400
Page views in 2020 to date: 287
Cite this page: Hamodat M. Hemochromatosis. website. Accessed October 24th, 2020.
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
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