Ancient Bruises: a Case of Skin Lesions due to Vitamin C Deficiency

  • Dipti Rao Rijnstate Hospital Arnhem
  • Roeland F. Stolk Rijnstate Hospital Arnhem
  • Maaike H. de Blauw Rijnstate Hospital Arnhem
  • Marcel M.C. Hovens Rijnstate Hospital Arnhem
  • Robert-Jan Hassing Department of Internal Medicine, Rijnstate Hospital Arnhem


Scurvy, ascorbic acid, ecchymosis, psychiatric disease


Scurvy was a common 18th century disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. It presents with multiple non-specific symptoms and can lead to capillary fragility due to impaired collagen synthesis. We report the case of a 63-year-old woman who presented with fatigue, nausea and progressive skin lesions consisting of multiple ecchymoses on the legs as also described in the diary drawings of a navy doctor in the 19th century. The ascorbic acid level was undetectable low in the patient’s serum. However, treatment with 500 mg ascorbic acid daily dramatically improved the skin lesions within 5 days.



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  • Published: 2015-10-19

    Issue: Vol 2 No 7 (2015) (view)

    Section: Articles

    How to cite:
    Rao, D., Stolk, R., de Blauw, M., Hovens, M., & Hassing, R.-J. (2015). Ancient Bruises: a Case of Skin Lesions due to Vitamin C Deficiency. European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine, 2(7).