Water Blisters on Hands with Porphyria
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Leigh
Posted on: July 22, 2005

I have porphyria cutanea tarda. It is from too much iron in the blood. About 10 to 15 years ago I had several phlebotomies to clean my blood, by making new. I have not had a problem since. Now all of a sudden they are blistering up again. Are there herbs I can be taking to not have to go through that again?

Porphyria cutanea tarda results from low levels of the enzyme responsible for the production of heme. Heme is the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood. People with porphyria cutanea tarda have excess iron in the blood. The skin is oversensitive, and areas of the skin exposed to sunlight often become blistered. This type of porphyria can result from the intake of excess alcohol or excess iron. Abnormal hormone levels and viral infections can trigger a flare up.

In phlebotomy, a pint of blood is removed, lowing the iron levels in the blood.

As far as I know, there are no herbs to cure porphyria. Herbal medicine, in this case, would work to support you in the areas that may be deficient, to optimize health and maximize resistance to flare-ups. Body systems that need to be optimized include digestion, elimination (intestines and kidneys), the nervous system, the immune system and the liver. If the flare-up coincided with a viral infection, anti-viral herbs would be recommended. Anti-viral herbs include St. John’s wort, garlic and lemon balm.

In the diet, avoid alcohol, supplements that contain iron, and hormone medication if possible.

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