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Home Agent Orange Agent Orange: Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Agent Orange: Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

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VA presumes Veterans' porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is related to their exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service when the disease appears within one year of exposure to Agent Orange to a degree of at least 10 percent disabling by VA’s rating regulations.

Learn more:

  • About Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT)
  • Research on Porphyria Cutanea Tarda and Herbicides Used in Vietnam
  • VA Benefits for Porphyria Cutanea Tarda
  • Contact VA about Benefits

About Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT)





Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is a disorder characterized by thinning and blistering of the skin in sun-exposed areas.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Blisters on areas of the skin exposed to the sun such as the face, arms, and hands followed by crusting and scarring
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Increased hair growth on areas exposed to the sun
  • Liver damage

Visit Medline Plus* to learn about treatment of porphyria, the latest medical research and more from the National Institutes of Health.

Research on Porphyria Cutanea Tarda and Herbicides Used in Vietnam

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences concluded in its 1994 report on "Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam"*† that there was sufficient evidence of an association between exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam and PCT. However, in 1996, IOM reviewed new research and determined that there is only limited/suggestive evidence of an association. The revised conclusion, however, did not change VA’s decision that PCT in Veterans who were exposed to herbicides used in Vietnam was caused by their military service when porphyria cutanea tarda appears within one year of exposure to Agent Orange, and is at least 10% disabling.

View more research on health effects of Agent Orange.

VA Benefits for Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Veterans with porphyria cutanea tarda that appeared within one year of exposure to Agent Orange to a degree of at least 10% disabling by VA’s rating regulations may be eligible for disability compensation and health care benefits.

Veterans who served in Vietnam or another area where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for an Agent Orange Registry health exam, a free, comprehensive examination.

Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides during military service and died as the result of porphyria cutanea tarda may be eligible for survivors' benefits.

Contact VA about Benefits

By Telephone

  • Toll-free Helpline: 1-800-749-8387 Press 3
  • Agent Orange Registry Health Exam: Call your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator
  • Health Care: 1-877-222-8387
  • Compensation and Other Non-Health Care Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
  • TDD (for hearing impaired): 1-800-829-4833

In Person

  • Health Care and Agent Orange Registry Health Exam: Go to your nearest VA health care facility.
  • Compensation Benefits and Other Non-Health Care Benefits: Go to your nearest VA benefits office.
 

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