Pellagra quiz

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Yukiko Ueda

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Yukiko Ueda, MD


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Learn more about Pellagra

Content updated on 2022-06-02

What is pellagra?

Pellagra is a systemic disease that results from severe vitamin B3 (Niacin) deficiency. Mild deficiency may go unnoticed, but a diet chronically low or without Niacin can result in symptoms, mainly the 4 D's: diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and possibly death.

Symptoms related to pellagra

  • Redness in sun-exposed areas of skin

  • Black/blue/brown spots or moles, on the skin and lining of the mouth

  • Diarrhea

  • Skin redness or red bumpy rashes

Questions your doctor may ask to check for pellagra

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose pellagra

  • Do you have redness on the sun-exposed areas of your skin?

  • Are there black, blue, or brown spots on the skin or elsewhere? (Including moles)

  • Do you have loose stools or diarrhea?

  • Do you have red skin or red spots on the skin?

Treatment for pellagra

Pellagra is treated with dietary changes and a niacin or nicotinamide (another form of vitamin B-3) supplements which may be given orally or injected into the vein (intravenously). With early treatment, many people make a full recovery and begin to feel better within a few days of starting treatment.

View the symptoms of Pellagra


Yukiko Ueda

Medically Reviewed By:

Yukiko Ueda, MD


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