Paederus Dermatitis Featuring Chronic Contact Dermatitis

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Abstract

Paederus dermatitis is a distinct variant of acute irritant contact dermatitis caused by mucocutaneous contact with the specific toxin of an insect belonging to the genus Paederus. It is characterized by the sudden onset of erythema and vesiculobullous lesions on exposed skin, with special predilection for the periorbital region. Paederus species have been mostly identified in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Central/South America. We report a 51-year-old woman who experienced 4 recurrences of periorbital erythema and edema in the previous year. No consistent etiology could be established at the beginning. Only after taking a detailed medical history was it discovered that 1 year before our examination, the patient had traveled to Kenya, where she had experienced contact with the insect. This fact led us to the diagnosis of Paederus dermatitis. After appropriate treatment, a complete regression was observed over a 3-week period.

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