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Scolopendra bites: a report of two cases and review of the literature

Stefano Veraldi, Ermira Cuka, Francesca Gaiani
International Journal of Dermatology 2014, 53 (7): 869-72
24673437

BACKGROUND: Centipedes are arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda. Approximately 3000 species have been described. Centipedes are found more commonly in tropical and subtropical countries. Centipedes possess venomous fangs. The Scolopendra represent the best-known genus of centipede.

METHODS: We describe two cases of severe skin reactions caused by Scolopendra subspinipes bites.

RESULTS: Both patients were bitten on the hand. The clinical picture was characterized by severe erythematous edema. In addition, one patient presented with a blister. Both patients complained of severe pain. Laboratory examinations showed leukocytosis and an increase in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Complete remission was achieved within two weeks by means of paracetamol and oral prednisone.

CONCLUSIONS: Western dermatologists should be aware of the possibility of severe skin reactions caused by centipede bites.

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