A study of blister beetle dermatitis


  • Srinath M. Kambil Department of Dermatology, Karuna Medical College, Palakkad, Kerala, India




Blister beetle, Dermatitis, Paederus, Pigmentation


Background: Blister beetle dermatitis is an irritant dermatitis caused mainly by beetles of the genus Paederus. It is clinically characterised by acute onset of linear erythematous plaques mainly over exposed areas like face, neck and upper limb.

Methods: Fifty four patients with blister beetle dermatitis who presented to the dermatology outpatient department over a period of three months from May 2017 to July 2017 were included in this study. The various clinical patterns of blister beetle dermatitis observed in these patients are described.

Results: Face was the commonest site involved (48%) followed by upper limb (33%). Linear erythematous plaques with or without vesiculation were seen in 78% and kissing lesions were seen in 6 patients. Majority of patients (83%) had burning sensation at the site of the lesions and residual pigmentation was seen in 92% of patients.

Conclusions: Blister beetle dermatitis is a common problem in tropical countries like India. Knowledge about the various clinical presentations will help in early diagnosis and treatment. 


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Original Research Articles