Acrodynia is also known as Pink disease or Swift’s disease.It is an uncommon disease with striking cutaneous manifestations.The cause of the disease is a mercurial toxicity reaction.The cource of the mercury is a teething powder,ammoniated mercury ointment,calomel lotion or bichloride of mercury disinfectant.
Acrodynia occurs in young infants before the age of two years.Children may be affected up to the age of 5 or 6 years.The skin of the hands,feet,nose,ears and cheeks become red or pink and has a cold and clammy feeling.The appearance is described as raw beef.The skin over the affected areas peel frequently.The patients also have a maculopapular rash which is pruritic in nature.Severe sweating is seen in the affected persons.Other features seen are extreme irritability,photophobia with lacrimation,muscular weakness,tachycardia,hypertension,insomnia,gastrointestinal upset and stomatitis.Children usually will tear out their hair in patches.
Patients exhibit profuse salivation and have dribbling.The gingiva becomes sensitive or painful and may have ulceration.Bruxism is also a common finding.Loosening and premature sheding of the teeth also occurs.Mastication becomes difficult because of the pain.
Treatment and Prognosis:
Discontinuance of exposure to mercury must be effected immediately.Adminstration of BAL(British anti-lewisite) or dimercaprol is effective.Patients usually recover from this disease.
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