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Paederus dermatitis

1 Department of Dermatology, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Madhuranthakam, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Annapurna Kumar,
18, Bussy Street, Puducherry - 605 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Paederus dermatitis is an irritant dermatitis caused by pederin, a toxin produced by the rove beetle (Paederus). The disease occurs worldwide, but it is often not recognized as a history of contact with the insect is frequently absent. It is commonly seen in the rainy season. Crushing the insect releases pederin, resulting in the characteristic linear lesions with a burning sensation that heal with hyperpigmentation. Treatment comprises immediate washing of the area to eliminate the toxin and topical application of a topical steroid-antibiotic combination. Preventive measures may include reducing the insect population in the surroundings, avoiding contact of insects with the skin, minimizing the lesions after contact. Awareness of the etiology and clinical manifestations makes it easier to suspect this condition even in the absence of a history of exposure to the insect. We present a comprehensive review of the etiopathogenesis, pathology, clinical features, treatment and prevention of Paederus dermatitis and also review the biology of the insect and its behavior.

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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow