In this Article
What are the types of porphyria?
The table below lists each type of porphyria and the deficient enzyme responsible for the disorder. Porphyrias are often classified as acute or cutaneous. Acute types of porphyria affect the nervous system, whereas cutaneous types mainly affect the skin. Two forms of porphyria - hereditary coproporphyria and variegate porphyria -- may be either acute or cutaneous, or both.
The most common type of porphyria overall is porphyria cutanea tarda. In the United States, acute intermittent porphyria is the most common acute porphyria.
What causes porphyria?
Most porphyrias are inherited disorders, meaning they are caused by abnormalities in genes passed from parents to children. Scientists have identified the genes for all eight enzymes in the heme pathway. Some forms of porphyria result from inheriting an abnormal gene from one parent. Other forms are due to inheriting two abnormal genes - one from each parent. The risk that members of an affected family will have the disease or transmit it to their children depends on the type of porphyria.
One type of porphyria -- porphyria cutanea tarda -- is most often an acquired disorder. It occurs when factors other than genes cause an enzyme deficiency in the liver.
Porphyria can be triggered by:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/3/2014
Viewers share their comments
Porphyria - Treatment Question: Have you tried an effective treatment for porphyria?
Porphyria - Symptoms Question: Describe the symptoms you have experienced with porphyria.
Porphyria - Types Question: What type of porphyria do you have? Please discuss your experience.
Porphyria - Diagnosis Question: Describe the events that led to a diagnosis of porphyria.
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions