What Are Some Visible Symptoms of Scurvy?


Quick Answer

The early visible symptoms of scurvy include swelling, bleeding and feelings of paralysis, according to Medical News Today. However, as the disease progresses, more notable symptoms appear, such as bleeding of the gums and in the eye; protruding eyes; and petechial hemorrhages, which appear as small red pinpoint marks.

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Additional visible symptoms include loosened teeth; constochondral beading, which appears like large beads under the skin of the rib cage; and corkscrew-like hair over the body. Some nonvisible symptoms include appetite loss, diarrhea, fever and discomfort. The symptoms for infants with scurvy can differ, including bleeding at the lower ends of long bones, irritability, apprehensiveness and the tendency to assume the frog leg position, notes Medical News Today.

Scurvy is a disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C, which is needed to produce collagen and absorb iron, explains Medical News Today. Because of modern diets, scurvy is a rare disease, though it can still occur in elderly people, alcoholics or children with poor diets devoid of vitamin C.

The visible symptoms of scurvy are fairly noticeable, so a physician can diagnose scurvy with a physical exam or by conducting a lab test for vitamin C levels. Scurvy can be treated by providing the patient with vitamin C, sometimes with injections but usually orally with pills or orange juice, states Medical News Today.

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