Acquired hemochromatosis with pronounced pigment deposition of the upper eyelids

J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2013 Oct;6(10):44-6.


primary (hereditary) or secondary (acquired). The acquired type most commonly occurs after massive intake of iron supplements or blood transfusions and is also known as transfusional iron overload. In the past, hemochromatosis was usually recognized at an advanced stage by the classic triad of hyperpigmentation, diabetes mellitus ("bronze diabetes"), and hepatic cirrhosis. Cutaneous hyperpigmentation is present in 70 percent of patients due to two different mechanisms: (1) hemosiderin deposition resulting in diffuse, slate-gray darkening and (2) increased production of melanin in the epidermis. A 47-year-old woman who receives regular transfusions due to low iron and chronic, unresolving anemia and who subsequently developed pronounced hyperpigmentation of the upper eyelids is described. The presentation, diagnosis, pathogenesis, and treatment options of hyperpigmentation due to secondary hemochromatosis are discussed.