Allergy Asthma Respir Dis.  2017 Nov;5(6):361-365. 10.4168/aard.2017.5.6.361.

Acquired acrodermatitis enteropathica caused by zinc deficiency in a heavy drinker: A case report

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kosin University Gospel Hospital, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Kosin University Gospel Hospital, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.


Acrodematitis enteropathica is an uncommon disease due to zinc deficiency which is characterized by perioral and acral dermatitis, alopecia, and diarrhea. This disease typically presents in infants, either due to an autosomal recessive genetic disorder or after cessation of breastfeeding. Acquired adult-onset acrodermatitis enteropathica has rarely been reported so far. We report a case of a 38-year-old man who had a history of chronic alcohol intake and presented with severe acrodermatitis enteropathica. The patient was successfully managed with zinc supplement and supportive care.


Acrodermatitis enteropathica; Zinc; Alcohol

MeSH Terms

Breast Feeding


  • Fig. 1. Skin lesions show erythema and fissuring dermatitis in perioral area and palm (A, B), and severe desquamating rash with excoriations in buttock area (C). (A) Alopecia is present on the scalp.

  • Fig. 2. Serial serum zinc level according to zinc supplement.

  • Fig. 3. Nearly complete resolution of the previous rash and alopecia was noted at 1 year later.


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