News, Views & Reviews

June 2010 | Volume 9 | Issue 6 | Original Article | 719 | Copyright © June 2010

Iron levels are tightly regulated in the body to maintain homeostasis. When homeostatic mechanisms malfunction, excess iron accumulation in the body has deleterious effects with important health consequences worldwide. Different degrees of iron accumulation complicate pathological conditions such as hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT), venous stasis ulcers, diabetic wounds, skin cancer and sunburn. Despite the known association of systemic iron excess with cutaneous findings, little is known about the mechanism by which a surplus of systemic iron affects the skin. This paper explores the link between excess iron and dermatologic findings in the conditions listed above in order to illustrate potential mechanisms by which iron overload exacerbates the cutaneous manifestations associated with each disease.