Scurvy resembling cutaneous vasculitis

Cutis. 1994 Aug;54(2):111-4.


Various conditions can imitate cutaneous vasculitis. Scurvy is a less appreciated cause of rash that can resemble vasculitis. Three patients were referred to our rheumatology service for "vasculitis," who subsequently were found to have scurvy. Findings included a purpuric skin rash, myalgias, and malaise. The patients had low vitamin C levels and findings on skin biopsy specimens indicative of scurvy. The three patients were on idiosyncratic diets deficient in vitamin C, and the two patients who allowed us to administer vitamin C therapy improved clinically. We emphasize the importance of a careful dietary history. Early recognition of scurvy is important because it can be treated specifically, and toxic treatment of vasculitis can be avoided.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Scurvy / diagnosis*
  • Scurvy / drug therapy
  • Scurvy / pathology
  • Skin Diseases, Vascular / diagnosis*
  • Vasculitis / diagnosis*


  • Ascorbic Acid