i recently just had an iron infusion about two weeks ago and i immediately noticed that my skin has turned darker than it normally is. it was a 1000 mg of dark brown fluid and im afraid it has darkened my skin. my eyes have since turned brown too. is this something i shouldve expected and is it permanant? will i go back to my old complexion, if so, when? i have heard that vitamin c decreases the iron levels in your body, is this safe to take for my complexion to go back as i thinkthis is due to the increased iron in my body.
Is hyper-pigmentation after iron infusion normal?
Question posted by genies on 29 July 2015
Last updated on 5 July 2022
Hi, I also had iron infusion on May 7. I ended up in the emergency due to anaphylaxis. There was only about 5mls left when my body reacted to the iron. Upon coming home from the hospital, I immediately noticed that my skin got darker especially around my eyes and I now have dark patches on my face. I initially thought it was because of the allergic reaction as I was covered in hives. It has now been over two weeks and my complexion is still a lot darker. The patches on my face are quite visible still and I look like I have not been sleeping with really dark eye bags.
I am not due to see my haematologist again until June 4 but will definitely ask him about it as it wasn’t on the list of side effects they’ve told me.
I’m not even sure if the infusion was worth it as I don’t know if my iron levels have gone up. It is also quite scary to do it all over again after having anaphylaxis- the doctors have told me that it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am allergic to iron, but in case I need a top up it needs to be done in a controlled environment with an emergency department on site.
I have been on iron tablets for a number of years which gave me different side effects like constipation and headaches. The very last iron tabs I took was maltofer.
The iron infusion was meant to be the best solution to bump my iron levels up quickly. But apart from severe allergic reaction, I had really bad muscle pains and felt so weak the whole week following the infusion.
I was only told about the possibility of staining on the infusion site due to leaking but never about skin discolouration. :-(
I was given ferinject 1000mg
Thank you for sharing your experience. I had a Monofer transfusion on February 3rd. I have had it before (2015 and 2017). This is the first time I have had a change in skin colour: looks like I have a nice tan! More on the body than the face. It is ironic since my anemia leaves me pale most of the time. My skin is extremely dry and I look like I have aged 10 years. I hope that will pass.
I also have a strong allergic reaction to IV iron. It comes tree days after the transfusion. This time is the first time it has happened in hospital. I don’t think the medical staff had heard about the reaction before. I am a bit surprised how that medical staff dealing with anemic patients are not better informed.
I can no longer receive IV iron so I hope my iron induced tan may stay, the dryness and tired look disappear!
I am experiencing the same thing. I recently got an iron infusion, and my skin color change. I have dark circles on my eyes and my face is discolored. My self esteem is 0 right now and I don’t know what to do. I spoke with my GP but she isn’t helping at all. I am so sad. Did your hyperpigmentation ever go away?
I am also in the same boat.
I received an iron infusion on the 15/01/2021 and noticed that my face has turned a yellow-golden colour. It is prominent around my nasolabial folds and the middle region of my face. It looks so unnatural and I’m quite upset about it.
My GP did not tell me that this would happen.
I am also still getting horrible headaches.
I’m going to report this skin side effect to Vifor Pharma and Aspen Pharmacare.
Fingers crossed that this skin discolouring isn’t permanent. I’m used to not wearing makeup and now feel like I need to wear foundation to hide the yellow.
Hi There, I had Monofer infusion 1000mg in May 2019. Within a week of administration my skin darkened on my face and hands. I especially noticed the changes around my mouth, eyes and forehead. Any existing scars had become darker and more prominent - my skin started becoming dryer than usual. The doctor that administered the injection said he couldn't make the correlation and hadn't seen the side effect before. I have since found that the skin discolouration is a common side effect of ferritin overload where the body mimics the condition Hemochromatosis (similar side effects). I have donated blood five times (every 16 weeks) over the last 20 months and my skin is only starting to look normal. I am not sure if it will go back to the pre infusion colour however I am trying to balance blood donations with keeping my iron levels within a healthy range. I have been checking my ferritin levels regularly and they remain high and slightly outside of range.
Please note that whitening creams will not help with this issue. The best advice I can offer is to keep your skin well moisturised, get your ferritin levels checked and consider blood donation (after speaking to your doctor) which will help bring your levels down if high. The British Skin Foundation has a very good page on the above condition and lists other side effects you should look out for. I would also consider asking your doctor to administer smaller doses to build up the effect 200-300mg every few weeks with blood tests in between rather than a whopping dose of 1000mg in the future. Once in the body iron is only excreted by blood loss (injury/ menstruation) or sweating, it does not clear from the body quickly which contributes to the side effects lingering in the system for longer (hence why it took nearly two years for my skin to look normal). I hope that your skin colour returns to normal, I know how distressed I have been for the last year and a half.
I had an iron infusion about a week ago and my skin has darkened, only slightly on my body but on my face my forehead, round the sides of my nose and chin it is quite dark and dry.
I also just over the past day have come out with a rash on both my cheeks, it's just like little spots. I'm going to speak to the hospital and see if this is normal as there is nothing written in the side effects about this.
Hopefully it'll go soon, it would be ok if it was all over and even it would look quite nice ha ha.
Hi everyone, my mum had iron infusion and she has the same side effects, hr doctor said she has never seen this before. I was hoping one of you guys could guide me on ways that could help relieve this symptom.
So this is more of a question. I'm scheduled to get my first infusion tomorrow. I was wondering is the skin discoloration your talking about only at injection site or all over?
I had the same thing happen. A dusky tan a day after my last iron infusion along with very bad muscle and joint aches. I put it down to iron infiltrating the tissues. Got concerned, took 25 mg Benadryl and some Tylenol with codeine and went to bed. Totally resolved in morning. Any one else have any input?
I recent got iron fusion as well and notice the same symptoms . You are right it is because of iron fusion . Even my eye lids are darker and skin got more discolouration. I think it’s the side effect from iron infusion . I am consulting a skin specialist
I had iron infusion on December 18 ,2019.
Yess my skin get very darker too, I’m much worried as I wasn’t expecting this. It’s really making me more depressed, my skin colour never seemed so, but now it’s too dark to believe.
I don’t know it’s not written in pamphlets that Hospital staff gave me. In side effects there’s no written for complexion darkness.
It’s happened with me, I’m continually browsing on Google for any remedy.
If anyone has any suggestions please tell.
I had a blood transfusion a month ago with two units of blood. Three days ago and a week prior to that, I had two infusions, but I don’t know how many milligrams. I do have more energy, but my hemoglobin was a 4.8, which apparently is very dangerously low. So I am pleased to see that I am feeling more energetic. I think it may have helped a bit with some of my pain as well. I am having a complete lumbar fusion, in about six weeks. That is how they discovered my low hemoglobin. You have to have a lot of tests done before such a big surgery.
I began to notice that I had what appeared to be a tan right before the second dose. I have not been in the sun, so I thought it might be related to the iron. After the blood transfusion my hemoglobin rose to 7.4 and after my first iron infusion I was in at 8.4, which I’m very pleased about.
As was mentioned in a prior email, I too am very pale, so having my complexion appear to be darker, is just fine with me. The only drawback is my sunspots on my face and hands are also darker.
What brought me here was my most interesting and flattering outcome, but nobody has mentioned this as far as I can tell. I am soon to be 58 and I’ve had hooded eyelids for several years. Strangely enough, the droopy skin appears to be gone. My explanation for this is that I must’ve been so dried up from having my blood be down to 4.8, that my veins are plumping up and I have taken up the space/ droopiness of my skin. So I am pleased all around. I have more energy, I look tan, and my droopy eyelids have disappeared. I would be curious to know if anyone symptoms have gone away. Most people have only come here once and have not given us a long-term outlook.
Has anyone else experienced any of these outcomes? I wish you all the best.
So many complaints about skin darkening. I only WISH I had that reaction to the transfusions being that I’m so pale. I will say, that I noticed a slight difference in my complexion. I went up maybe 1/2 a shade but that’s it. I figured that was my “normal” color. When you’re anemic, often times you are pale and lighter than your normal complexion.
Hi, I had an iron infusion on the 21 March 2019, instantly notice my skin go 3 shades darker , and skin just looking really uneven and dry, it is really worrying me will my skin ever go back to normal, everyone here who complained the same please can you tell me if your skin has gone back to normal , thank you very much your response is very much needed.
I had a blood transfusion, 2 units, and several Venofer IV iron. I had a large buise on my upper arm after the IV was removed. This was after a knee replacement. This was 6 months ago. I now am suspicious that it could be an iron stain. It's embarrassing because it looks like someone is abusive to me. I am not sure what to do about it. As a nurse , I have given many IV iron infusions and never came across this reaction. As for giving it IM, I do know that there is special instructions so as not to stain the skin. It must go deep into the muscle. In our procedure manual that we keep at the station is how I learned to give it. I believe they called it a Z track injection. You must push the skin down close to the muscle and stretch the skin in the shape of a Z with your thumb and index finger.
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