Many types of porphyria are associated with photosensitivity. The amount of circulating porphyrin impacts the severity and duration of the skin reactions.


Conditions with skin lesions only:

(1) porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT)

(2) congenital erythroietic porphyria (CEP)

(3) hepatoerythropoietic porphyria (HEP)

(4) erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP)


Conditions with neurovisceral symptoms in addition to skin lesions:

(1) hereditary coproporphyria (HCP)

(2) variegate porphyria (VP)


The patient may also experience bullae and skin fragility. In erythropoietic protoporphyria the patient may develop urticaria.



(1) Discontinue any drug contributing to porphyrin overproduction (and identify a safe substitute if essential).

(2) Avoid alcohol.

(3) Maintain an adequate diet and hydration.

(4) Avoid sunlight and bright lights.

(5) Cover the skin with clothing and/or a barrier cream.


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