What Is Pancytopenia

What Is Pancytopenia?

Pancytopenia is a condition where the skin becomes dry and scaly due to lack of moisture. Skin with pancytopenia may appear red, itchy or painful. It may even cause blisters. A person suffering from pancytopenia will have trouble breathing and suffer from other problems such as headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Pancytopenia can affect any age group, but most commonly affects those over 65 years old.

Pancytopenia Symptoms: Redness, Scaly Skin, Blistering and Other Problems

The main symptom of pancytopenia is redness and scaling on the skin. It may occur anywhere on the body including the face, hands, feet and genitals. There are different types of skin conditions caused by pancytopenia.

These include:

Scabies – This is a contagious skin infection that causes itching and sores. It usually begins at the head, neck and armpits. People infected with scabies typically develop it within one week after coming into contact with someone who has the disease.

They may not show any signs of illness until several days later when they experience severe itching. If left untreated, scabies can lead to death if not treated immediately.

Fungal Infection – This causes itching in the affected area. The fungal infection begins as a red, irritated patch. It then spreads and appears as dry, cracked and scaly skin.

Eczema – This is a long-term condition that causes scaly, itchy rashes on the skin. Eczema is most commonly found on the hands, feet, arms and legs. It can lead to skin infections if left untreated.

How to Prevent Pancytopenia?

The first step in preventing pancytopenia is to see a physician or healthcare professional for regular checkups. At these checkups, blood tests are typically given to check the levels of certain white blood cells in the body. If they fall below normal levels, then the patient may be suffering from pancytopenia. A change in diet can also help prevent pancytopenia. Eating certain foods can increase the risk of a skin condition while other foods may decrease the risk. These include:

Protein Rich Foods – These foods are packed full of nutrients that help keep the skin and immune system healthy. Some good examples of high protein foods include meat, fish, eggs and tofu.

Zinc Rich Foods – Zinc helps support the body’s natural defense mechanisms. It also helps repair damaged skin cells. Some good sources of zinc include: peanuts, lamb meat, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas.

Tryptophan Rich Foods – Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps produce serotonin in the brain. Insufficient levels of serotonin can cause anxiety, aggression and depression. Foods rich in tryptophan include: bananas, cottage cheese, goose liver, low-fat yoghurt and turkey.

Vitamin E Rich Foods – This vitamin helps the skin repair itself. It also protects the skin from harmful chemicals and toxins found in the environment. Some foods rich in vitamin E include: almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter and spinach.

Home Remedies for Pancytopenia:

There are various home remedies that can help treat pancytopenia. These include:

Pineapple – Eat one slice of fresh pineapple every day.

Honey – Take a tablespoon of honey twice a day. Do not take in excess as this can cause blood sugar to levels to fall suddenly, which is life threatening.

Oatmeal Bath – Soak in a bath of warm water and a cup of oatmeal for 20 minutes each day.

Almond Oil – Soak in a bath of warm water and two tablespoons of almond oil for 20 minutes each day.

Exercise – Take a walk or do some light exercise every day.

Seaweed Supplements – Take a daily supplement that contains sea vegetables, such as wakame, kelp and dulse.

Avoid People With Infectious Diseases

People suffering from pancytopenia are more susceptible to catching an infection. It is advised that they do not come into contact with people suffering from infectious diseases.

Cover The Sores

People suffering from pancytopenia are advised to cover their sores and scabs as these are more susceptible to bacterial infection. Use bandages or surgical tape to cover the area and wash hands before handling the bandages or tape.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pancytopenia?

The symptoms of pancytopenia can vary from person to person. They usually involve a lack of energy and susceptibility to infection. The common symptoms include:




Abdominal Pain

Skin Infections


Sore Throat

Swollen Glands

Headache and Dizziness (Convulsions)

How Is Pancytopenia Diagnosed?

Your doctor or healthcare provider will ask you a list of questions relating to your medical history and perform a physical examination. If they suspect you have pancytopenia, they will order a blood test to check your white blood cell and platelet counts.

What Is The Treatment For Pancytopenia?

There is currently no known cure for pancytopenia. However, there are treatments that can help relieve or prevent any complications related to the disease. These include:

Supportive Care – This involves symptom management. For example, if you are suffering from a bacterial infection, you may be given antibiotics.

Nutritional Support – If you are lacking certain nutrients that help your body make new blood cells, you may need dietary or supplementary support. These include: Iron Folic Acid Vitamin B12 Vitamin C Zinc

How Can I Prevent Pancytopenia?

The best way to prevent pancytopenia is to avoid contact with people who have infectious diseases, such as the flu or HIV. If you are unsure of whether or not you have been exposed, it is always best to seek immediate medical treatment. You can also prevent the disease by breastfeeding your infant or toddler. Mothers that do this greatly reduce their chances of passing on the HIV virus.

What Is The Prognosis Of Pancytopenia?

The prognosis may vary depending on how long you have had the condition and what complications arise from it. If left untreated, people with pancytopenia can die from the condition. If it is detected quickly and treated properly, the outlook is much better.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Patterns of pancytopenia patients in a general medical ward and a proposed diagnostic approach by O Ishtiaq, HZ Baqai, F Anwer… – Journal of Ayub Medical …, 2004 – jamc.ayubmed.edu.pk

Pancytopenia secondary to methotrexate therapy in rheumatoid arthritis by S Gutierrez‐Ureña, JF Molina… – … : Official Journal of …, 1996 – Wiley Online Library

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Pancytopenia in Zimbabwe by B Mudenge, DG Savage, RH Allen… – The American journal of …, 1999 – Elsevier

Pancytopenia–a clinico-hematologic analysis of 77 cases. by V Tilak, R Jain – Indian journal of pathology & microbiology, 1999 – europepmc.org