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April 1, 1968

Thrips Bites Dermatitis

Author Affiliations

Tampa, Fla

JAMA. 1968;204(1):82. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140140084033

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To the Editor:—  The paper "Papular Eruption Secondary to Thrips Bites" by Goldstein and Skipworth (203:53, 1968) describes a distinctive insect bite reaction with spectacular pale halos surrounding the erythematous papules. Although they were unable to reproduce lesions experimentally, the authors suggest that this singular response is evoked by exposure to plant-infesting thrips.During World War II at a military installation in Tampa, Fla, I observed dozens of these cases, and since then I have encountered them sporadically in this area. They appeared almost epidemically in December, January, and February. The conjecture that contact with the parasite occurs by way of vegetation is refuted, however, by my observation of numerous cases which developed in hospitalized patients. It was common to discover on morning rounds two or three new instances of the eruption, randomly scattered through a ward of 30 beds, in patients who had not been away from the