Acrodermatitis

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Acrodermatitis

Definition

Acrodermatitis is a childhood skin condition that may be accompanied by mild symptoms of fever and malaise. It may also be associated with hepatitis B and other viral infections.

Alternative Names

Papular acrodermatitis of childhood; Gianotti-Crosti syndrome; Acrodermatitis - infantile lichenoid; Acrodermatitis - papular infantile; Papulovesicular acro-located syndrome

Causes

The cause of acrodermatitis is poorly understood, but its link with other infections is well- documented.

In Italian children, acrodermatitis is seen frequently with hepatitis B, but this link is rarely seen in the United States. In addition to hepatitis B, acrodermatitis has also been associated with Epstein-Barr virus infections (EBV, mononucleosis), cytomegalovirus, coxsackie viruses, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and some live virus vaccines.

Symptoms

  • Rash or patch on skin
  • Brownish-red or copper-colored patch that is firm and flat on top
  • String of bumps may appear in a line
  • Generally not itchy
  • Rash looks the same on both sides of the body
  • Rash may appear on the palms and soles -- it does not occur on the back, chest, or belly area

Other symptoms that may appear include:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Tender lymph nodes

Exams and Tests

Your doctor can diagnosed this condition by simply looking at the skin and rash. The liver, spleen, and lymph nodes may be swollen.

The following tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other conditions:

  • Skin biopsy
  • Screening for EBV antibodies
  • Liver enzymes (liver function tests)
  • Hepatitis virus serology or hepatitis B surface antigen
  • Bilirubin level

Treatment

Acrodermatitis by itself is not treated. Infections associated with this condition, such as hepatitis B and Epstein-Barr, should be treated appropriately.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Acrodermatitis is considered a self-limiting disease that disappears without complication. However, the associated conditions must be watched carefully.

Possible Complications

Complications occur as a result of associated conditions, rather than as a result of acrodermatitis.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if your child has signs of this condition.

Behrman RE. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2004.

Long SS, Pickering LK, Prober CG. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2003.

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