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Patients presenting with miliaria while wearing flame resistant clothing in high ambient temperatures: a case series.

INTRODUCTION: Clothing can be a cause of occupational dermatitis. Frequent causes of clothing-related dermatological problems can be the fabric itself and/or chemical additives used in the laundering process, friction from certain fabrics excessively rubbing the skin, or heat retention from perspiration-soaked clothing in hot working environments. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of miliaria rubra associated with prolonged use of flame resistant clothing in the medical literature.

CASE PRESENTATION: We report 18 cases (14 men and 4 women, with an age range of 19 to 37 years) of moderate to severe skin irritation associated with wearing flame resistant clothing in hot arid environments (temperature range: 39 to 50°C, 5% to 25% relative humidity). We describe the medical history in detail of a 23-year-old Caucasian woman and a 31-year-old African-American man. A summary of the other 16 patients is also provided.

CONCLUSIONS: These cases illustrate the potential serious nature of miliaria with superimposed Staphylococcus infections. All 18 patients fully recovered with topical skin treatment and modifications to their dress ensemble. Clothing, in particular blend fabrics, must be thoroughly laundered to adequately remove detergent residue. While in hot environments, individuals with sensitive skin should take the necessary precautions such as regular changing of clothing and good personal hygiene to ensure that their skin remains as dry and clean as possible. It is also important that they report to their health care provider as soon as skin irritation or rash appears to initiate any necessary medical procedures. Miliaria rubra can take a week or longer to clear, so removal of exposure to certain fabric types may be necessary.

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