Redness on the skin? They can be caused by caterpillar hairs.

A supposed case of painful eczema on a man's left wrist turned out to be something much more

unusual. Doctors from China found that their patient had caterpillar hairs stuck in his arm. Discuss

The man went to the doctors after severalmonths of incessant redness, bumps and pain on the left wrist. He was initially diagnosed with eczema. Treatment with topical steroids and antihistamines did not help, so he was referred to the dermatology department, where he was examined by the authors of the new report.

Looking at a skin biopsy under a microscopemen, they noticed unique hollow structures. These objects were also surrounded by white blood cells, indicating that they are the cause of the inflammation. After reviewing the man's medical history and literature, doctors suggested that these structures were most likely caterpillar hairs, or hair-like bristles, found on the outside of the skin in many animal species. The patient confirmed their suspicions when he remembered that he had previously been bitten by an unknown insect while climbing an apple tree. He also recalled that while there, he saw many gypsy moth caterpillars.

Touching the hairs of this caterpillar cancause an itchy rash similar to that caused by poison ivy, although this rash usually clears up on its own after a few weeks, in this case the hairs stuck in the man's wrist caused a buildup of white blood cells. The man had to undergo additional treatment, but after that his symptoms finally disappeared.

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