Pellagra is a dermatitis resulting from niacin and/or tryptophane deficiency (in persons whose staple food is sorghum; patients with malabsorption, or during famine).
Classically, disease of the ‘three Ds’: dermatitis, diarrhoea and dementia.
– Dark red plaques, well demarcated, symmetric, located on exposed areas of the body (forehead, neck, forearms, legs). The skin becomes very scaly, pigmented, sometimes with haemorrhagic bullae.
– Gastrointestinal (glossitis, stomatitis and diarrhoea) and neuropsychiatric symptoms are seen in more serious forms.
– nicotinamide (vitamin PP) PO1
Children and adults: 100 mg 3 times daily, give with a diet rich in protein until the patient is fully cured.
– In the event of an epidemic of pellagra, for example in a refugee camp, it is vital that the food ration be modified (add groundnuts or dry vegetables) in order to meet the daily requirements (approximately 15 mg daily for adults).