Bullous cryothermic dermatitis artefacta induced by deodorant spray abuse

A Jacobi, A Bender, M Hertl, A König
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV 2011, 25 (8): 978-82

BACKGROUND: Dermatitis artefacta belongs to a broad spectrum of factitious diseases of lesions usually self-induced by patients. Here we report a surprisingly effective induction of blisters and thermic dermatitis by excessive abuse of common deodorant sprays.

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the clinical course and outcome in three patients with dermatitis artefacta induced by deodorant spray.

METHODS: A 12-year-old boy only admitted the abuse of deodorant spray after psychiatric intervention. Two adults (21-year-old and 37-year-old women) had borderline personality disorder and frankly reported the urge to induce pain by spraying for at least 100 s at a short distance.

RESULTS: Bullous dermatitis was the acute presenting sign in all patients. The bullae were found on the extensor surfaces of the extremities, with a distribution of older lesions showing erosions and scarring and fresh lesions with intact bullae with a diameter of 3-15 cm. After searching for the causative agent and removal of the deodorant spray, clinical outcome showed a healing without and with scars.

CONCLUSIONS: Cryo-damage by abuse of common deodorant sprays seems to become a popular mechanism by which an impressive bullous dermatitis can be artificially induced. Dermatologists and psychiatrist should be aware of this method of injury.

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