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Scurvy

Vitamin C deficiency; Deficiency - vitamin C; Scorbutus

 

Scurvy is a disease that occurs when you have a severe lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in your diet. Scurvy causes general weakness, anemia, gum disease, and skin hemorrhages.

Scurvy is rare in the United States. Older adults who are not getting proper nutrition are most affected by scurvy.

 

References

Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. Environmental and nutritional diseases. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC, eds. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 9.

Salwen MJ. Vitamins and trace elements. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. New York, NY: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 26.

 
  • Scurvy, periungual hemorrhage

    Scurvy, periungual hemorrhage - illustration

    Scurvy is a nutritional disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C. Common symptoms include pinpoint bleeding around hair follicles, along the gums, and under the nails, as seen in this photograph.This disease rarely occurs in the United States.

    Scurvy, periungual hemorrhage

    illustration

  • Scurvy, corkscrew hair

    Scurvy, corkscrew hair - illustration

    Scurvy is a nutritional disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C. Pinpoint bleeding around hair follicles, and "corkscrew hairs" as seen in this picture, can occur as a result of scurvy. Bleeding along the gums is common. This disease rarely occurs in the United States.

    Scurvy, corkscrew hair

    illustration

  • Scurvy corkscrew hairs

    Scurvy corkscrew hairs - illustration

    "Corkscrew hairs" in hyperkeratotic follicles are pathognomonic of scurvy, or vitamin C deficiency. Petechiae and subungual hemorrhage may also be seen.

    Scurvy corkscrew hairs

    illustration

    • Scurvy, periungual hemorrhage

      Scurvy, periungual hemorrhage - illustration

      Scurvy is a nutritional disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C. Common symptoms include pinpoint bleeding around hair follicles, along the gums, and under the nails, as seen in this photograph.This disease rarely occurs in the United States.

      Scurvy, periungual hemorrhage

      illustration

    • Scurvy, corkscrew hair

      Scurvy, corkscrew hair - illustration

      Scurvy is a nutritional disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C. Pinpoint bleeding around hair follicles, and "corkscrew hairs" as seen in this picture, can occur as a result of scurvy. Bleeding along the gums is common. This disease rarely occurs in the United States.

      Scurvy, corkscrew hair

      illustration

    • Scurvy corkscrew hairs

      Scurvy corkscrew hairs - illustration

      "Corkscrew hairs" in hyperkeratotic follicles are pathognomonic of scurvy, or vitamin C deficiency. Petechiae and subungual hemorrhage may also be seen.

      Scurvy corkscrew hairs

      illustration


     

    Review Date: 1/31/2015

    Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, medical director and director of didactic curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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