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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 Feb;32(2):323-328. doi: 10.1111/jdv.14525. Epub 2017 Sep 5.

Bateman purpura (dermatoporosis): a localized scurvy treated by topical vitamin C - double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.

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Department of Dermatology, Research and Studies Center on the Integument (CERT), Clinical Investigation Center (CIC BT506), Besançon University Hospital, Besançon, France.
INSERM UMR1098, SFR FED 4234 IBCT, University of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France.
Laboratory of Skin Bioengineering and Imaging (LABIC), Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.



Bateman purpura is characterized by diffuse senile skin atrophy, senile purpura and spontaneous stellar pseudocicatrices. Cutaneous changes in the course of ageing have been related to lower levels of ascorbic acid into the dermis of elderly people.


In this study, we postulate that senile purpura could be linked to dermal vitamin C deficiency and could be corrected by topical administration of this vitamin.


A 12-weeks, hemi-member (forearm or leg), randomized double-blind comparative study was conducted in 18 patients with Bateman purpura aged over than 60 years. At each visit, clinical assessment and biometrological measurements were performed. Clinical examination and scoring by experts showed a significant improvement on the vitamin C-treated side compared with the control, with reduction of haemorrhage areas, increase of dermal thickness.


Twice-daily application of 5% topical vitamin C led to a clinically apparent improvement of the skin symptoms and allows beneficial effects on skin elasticity and thickness. Bateman purpura, a classical sign of photoaging whose origin has not clearly been recognized could be improved by vitamin C applied on to the skin.


These results confirm the hypothesis of the underlying role of vitamin C deficiency in the determinism of Bateman purpura.

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