Blister beetle dermatitis

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Blister beetle dermatitis
Other names: Paederus dermatitis
Paederus dermatitis involving the neck

Blister beetle dermatitis is a cutaneous condition that occurs after contact with any of several types of beetles, including those from the Meloidae and Oedemeridae families.[1]: 449  Blister beetles secrete an irritant called cantharidin, a vesicant that can get onto humans if they touch the beetles.

The term "blister beetle dermatitis" is also occasionally and inappropriately used as a synonym for Paederus dermatitis, a somewhat different dermatitis caused by contact with pederin, an irritant in the hemolymph of a different group of beetles, the rove beetles.[2]

Symptoms and signs

After skin comes in contact with cantharidin, local irritation begins within a few hours.[3] (This is in contrast to Paederus dermatitis, where symptoms first appear 12–36 hours after contact with rove beetles.)[4] Painful blisters appear, but scarring from these epidermal lesions is rare.[5]


Typical Vesicles/Blister at site where beetle salivates.[citation needed]


Wash with soap and water. Cold application Topical Steroid and Antihistamines application.[citation needed]

See also


  1. James, William D.; Berger, Timothy G.; et al. (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: clinical Dermatology. Saunders Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-7216-2921-6.
  2. [1] Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine 'Paederus dermatitis' by Gurcharan Singh and Syed Yousuf Ali, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Jan-Feb 2007
  3. "7.7 Blister beetles, clinical features". Institute of Tropical Medicine. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011. On skin contact with cantharidin-containing blister beetles, local tissue irritation occurs after a few hours. This results from the disruption of tonofilaments in the desmosomes with acantholysis and intra-epidermal blister formation.
  4. "Just the facts…Paederus Beetles" (PDF). US Army Public Health Command. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  5. Barceloux, Donald (2008). Medical toxicology of natural substances: foods, fungi, medicinal herbs, plants, and venomous animals. John Wiley and Sons. p. 973. ISBN 9780470335574. Archived from the original on 2020-11-22. Retrieved 2021-01-03.

External links