Vitamin a deficiency phrynoderma associated with chronic giardiasis

Pediatr Dermatol. Jul-Aug 2006;23(4):346-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2006.00261.x.


Phrynoderma is a rare form of follicular hyperkeratosis associated with deficiencies in vitamins A or C or essential fatty acids. We report a 6-year-old boy with an unusual presentation of phrynoderma, characterized by multiple minute digitate hyperkeratoses associated with hair casts and related to a severe deficiency in vitamins A and C complicating a chronic intestinal giardiasis. The lesions responded well to oral vitamins A and C combined with albendazole treatment. Vitamin A deficiency-related phrynoderma is rare in western countries and is usually caused by digestive malabsorption resulting from large intestine resection or pancreatic failure. To our knowledge, this is the first reported instance of phrynoderma related to a chronic intestinal parasitic infection by Giardia intestinalis with intestinal malabsorption as a likely consequence.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Albendazole / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Giardia lamblia / isolation & purification
  • Giardiasis / complications*
  • Giardiasis / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Keratosis / etiology*
  • Male
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin A / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin A Deficiency / complications*


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Vitamin A
  • Albendazole
  • Ascorbic Acid