Nairobi fly dermatitis

Notes

## Basic introduction

  • It is also known as either Paederus dermatitis, linear dermatitis, dermatitis linearis, spider-lick or whiplash dermatitis[a]
  • It is a cutaneous condition caused by Paederussabaeus, a blister beetle found in Kenya, mainly around Nairobi[a]
  • When the beetle is crushed it releases toxin, pederin that causes lesions
Symptoms
  • Erythema with irregular border
  • Blisters
  • Irritation
  • Occurs mainly on exposed parts of the body
  • Linear appearance of the lesions
  • Crusting and scaling lasting for 2-3 wks.
  • Permanent skin discoloration
  • The presence of “kissing” (mirror images) lesions
  • Secondary infections may occur
Diagnosis
  • Clinical review
Differential
  • Acute allergic dermatitis
  • Herpes simplex
  • Herpes zoster
  • Liquid burns
  • Millipede dermatitis
  • Other dermatitis
  • Phytophotodermatitis
Prevention
  • Bed nets
  • Long-sleeve clothing
  • Learning to recognize the appearance of the Nairobi fly and advice not to touch or crash them
Reference
  1. Rapini, R. P., Bolognia, J. L., & Jorizzo, J. L. (2007). Dermatology: 2-Volume Set. St. Louis: Mosby
  2. Iserson, K. V., & Walton, E. K. (2012). Nairobi fly (Paederus) dermatitis in South Sudan: a case report. Wilderness & environmental medicine, 23(3), 251-254.
  3. Singh G, Yousuf Ali S. Paederus dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2007;73:13-5
Management
  • No effective treatment is known
  • Wash the crush site immediately with soapy water or iodine
  • Corticosteroids and antihistamines have not been effective in relieving the symptoms
  • Antibiotics may be used to prevent or cure secondary infections
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