Dermatitis Gangrenosa Infantum: a Report of a Case
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From time to time in African infants one meets a condition generally known to dermatologists as dermatitis gangrenosa infantum, in which a characteristic destruction of a large area of skin occurs. It may start with a small blister or it may begin de novo, being quickly followed by loss of skin and rapid spread. The affected skin assumes a blackened colour, is dull, opaque and usually sharply demarcated from the healthy surrounding skin. The dead skin is hard and the size of the lesion varies, but often it is extensive, measuring several inches across. Its shape too varies very much, although roughly circular, with many small projections and indentations. It usually has the appearance of an indented outline of a map, the normal skin representing the sea. The condition is said to be due to the Haemolytic streptococcus which can regularly be recovered from it. ft is believed that an initial scratch or boil starts off the process, which develops in an alarming manner. It frequently, but not always, occurs in marasmic or undernourished children, often when recovering from one of the common infectious diseases.