Surgical Management of Cutaneous Anthrax

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Abstract

Cutaneous anthrax in humans is a very rare disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Humans become infected with this sporeforming bacterium when they come into contact with an infected animal. The disease usually develops on exposed sites like the hands and the face. The authors present 4 patients with cutaneous anthrax: 2 of the hands and 2 of the eyelids. All patients needed plastic surgical help via skin grafting after excision of the black eschar. No complications occurred after surgery. Because they are so rare in Europe and the United States, sporadic cases of anthrax are easily overlooked because the diagnosis often is not considered. Cutaneous anthrax should be considered in any patient with a painless ulcer or black eschar who has a history of exposure to animals.

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