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Article
July 1993

Severe Cutaneous Reactions to Self-Defense Sprays

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Hôpital Henri Mondor University Paris XII 94010 Créteil Cedex, France

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(7):913. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680280103029
Abstract

To the Editor.—  We read with great interest the several articles on cutaneous manifestations of violence in the June 1992 issue of the Archives.1-6 We would like to draw the physician's attention to another aspect pertinent to dermatologists: the cutaneous reactions produced by orthochlorobenzylidene malononitrile used as riot control agent and in self-defense sprays.

Report of Cases.—  In the last 3 years, 11 patients were hospitalized in our department for a bullous dermatitis after they had been sprayed with this agent. Nine of 11 patients were men and almost half of them were homeless, having been involved in criminal behavior. In five cases, the patients had already been exposed to self-defense sprays. Clinically, they presented with an erythematous dermatitis localized on the areas directly exposed to the spray (face, neck, and hands) but also on other parts reached by the agent flowing along the body (shoulders and trunk). Their

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