What is pellagra?

This is a condition caused by niacin deficiency. It is seen in communities who depend on a maize diet. In children, pellagra presents with a skin rash on areas exposed to the sun (face, neck and chest in a necklace distribution, arms and legs). The rash is erythematous (red) or pigmented and may be scaly.

Pellagra is treated with nicotinic acid 100 mg orally, every 4 hours for 3 days. Advise on a balanced diet with beans and peas added to maize. Pellagra patients are usually also generally malnourished.

Pellagra presents with a pigmented, scaly rash on exposed areas.

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