Conjunctival Proliferation After a Mild Pepper Spray Injury in a Young Child

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Purpose:To report a case of conjunctival proliferation in a 2.5-year-old boy after initial evidence of a mild chemical injury after ocular exposure to pepper spray (oleoresin capsicum).Methods:Case report with ophthalmologic and histologic findings.Results:A child presented with mild conjunctival injection and chemosis without any corneal erosion after direct exposure to pepper spray. Three weeks later, a significant conjunctival proliferation was found at the limbus, which was refractory to treatment with topical corticosteroids. Finally, proliferative tissue was surgically excised without clinical recurrence during 2 months of follow-up.Conclusions:We hypothesize that the young age of the patient may have been an important factor for the severe conjunctival proliferation in comparison to a mainly uncomplicated course of pepper spray injuries in most adults. We recommend the use of topical antiinflammatory treatment even in apparently mild pepper spray injuries, especially in young children.

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