HPI: The patient had a ganglionectomy on her right wrist on April 4, 2013. When she was taken from the operating room she noticed a whitish rectangular indurated plaque on her right triceps. Over the next couple of days bullae appeared which eventually ruptured and become erosions. There was moderate pain. At no point was she febrile.
|Cell phone photo taken by patient on day after surgery|
|Taken at doctor's office on day 7 p surgery|
Diagnosis: Chenical burn (irritant contact dermatitis, ICD) secondary to Chloroprep. It is postulated that some of the prep dripped down the elevated hand to the affected area which then pressed against the arm rest for at least 45 minutes.
Discussion: This type of injury is not reported, but makes sense. A recent article in the Archives of Dermatology reports ICD in newborns exposed to chlorhexidine impregnated catheter dressing. We speculate that erosive ICD is more common that the paucity of reports, probably because the surgeons who opperated on these patients are loath to report these cases. Our patient was treated with Dome-Boro wet compresses and silver-sulfadiazione cream. Penicillin G 250 mg qid was prescribed when culture was reported.
Chlorhexidine gluconate–impregnated central access catheterdressings as a cause of erosive contact dermatitis: a report of 7 cases. Weitz NA, et. al. JAMA Dermatol. 2013 Feb;149(2):195-9. CONCLUSIONS: Erosive contact dermatitis is an under-recognized complication of chlorhexidine gluconate-impregnated dressings. Health care providers should be aware of this risk, particularly in young children and immunosuppressed and/or critically ill patients, who may be more susceptible to the irritant effects of these dressings. When the dressings are used, patients should be monitored closely for skin breakdown.