Hepatitis C Virus in Dermatology

Jean-Michel Pawlotsky, MD; Daniel Dhumeaux, MD; Martine Bagot, MD, PhD

Background:
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the main causative agent of parenterally transmitted non-A, non-B viral hepatitis. Infections with HCV may be associated with disorders of various organs other than the liver, essentially through immunologic mechanisms.

Objectives:
To provide an update on HCV and to review and discuss dermatologic disorders directly or indirectly related to HCV-induced liver disease.

Observations:
The main dermatologic disorders in HCV infection include (1) vasculitis (mainly cryoglobulin-associated vasculitis, the cause of which is HCV in most cases, and, possibly, some cases of polyarteritis nodosa); (2) sporadic porphyria cutanea tarda; (3) cutaneous and/or mucosal lichen planus; and (4) salivary gland lesions, characterized by lymphocytic capillaritis, sometimes associated with lymphocytic sialadenitis resembling that of Sjoegren's syndrome.

Conclusions:
Hepatitis C virus is the cause of, or is associated with, various dermatologic disorders. In patients with such disorders, HCV infection must be sought routinely because antiviral therapy may be beneficial in some of them.

(Arch Dermatol. 1995;131:1185-1193)

Read more about HCV and dermatology at the links below:
HCV and Skin Diseases

Skin Lesions Occurring Only with HCV

Pruritus (Itchy Skin) and HCV

Itchy skin linked to hepatitis C infection

Persistent Rash with Chronic HCV Infection, Resoluting with Inteferon Treatment

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