[Skip to Navigation]
June 1992

Skin Manifestations of Mustard Gas: A Clinical Study of 535 Patients Exposed to Mustard Gas

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Isfahan (Iran) University of Medical Sciences.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(6):775-780. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680160059004

• Background.—  During the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988), 535 patients who were exposed to mustard gas (one of the chemical warfare agents used by Iraq) were referred to our dermatology department. In this article, we have tried to review the skin manifestations of these patients.

Observations.—  The skin lesions were of early or late onset. The early onset lesions consisted of erythema (76%), bulla (55%), and purpura (1.1%). These lesions were mostly found on the face and skin folds. The late-onset manifestations were pigmentation (20.4%) and desquamation (11.2%). Other complications were ophthalmic (85%), pulmonary (15%), and gastrointestinal (10%). Lymphopenia (7%) was the most serious laboratory disorder reported. Biopsy specimens of the lesions showed subepidermal bullae with mild dermal and epidermal necrosis.

Conclusions.—  All patients were treated as for burns using sulfadiazine and furacine. All patients were cured in a period of 15 to 45 days. During a 6-month follow-up, no mortality was observed.(Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:775-780)

Add or change institution