Caterpillar Dermatitis Quiz

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Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (GP / Family doctor)

Yukiko Ueda

Yukiko Ueda, MD (Dermatology)

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Learn more about Caterpillar dermatitis

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is caterpillar dermatitis?

Irritation and inflammation of the skin from "hairy" insects. Possible culprit insects include caterpillars, moths and butterflies.

Symptoms of caterpillar dermatitis

  • Skin Itching

  • Skin redness or red bumpy rashes

  • Skin abnormality

  • Bitten by insect, or visited an insect-infested area in the past one week

Questions your doctor may ask to check for caterpillar dermatitis

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose caterpillar dermatitis

  • Do you have itchy skin?

  • Do you have red skin or red spots on the skin?

  • Do you have any skin problems?

  • Have you had an insect bite over past week or have you gone to a place with many insects?

Treatment for caterpillar dermatitis

Remove the insect carefully, avoiding contact with bare hands. If there are still insect "hairs" on the skins, sticky tape should be used to peel them off. Wash the area with soap and water. If pain is significant, applying ice-packs or creams may help. Sometimes, antihistamines may be prescribed.

View the symptoms of Caterpillar dermatitis

References

  • Henwood BP, MacDonald DM. Caterpillar dermatitis. Clin Exp Dermatol. 1983 Jan;8(1):77-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.1983.tb01748.x. PMID: 6340867.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2230.1983.tb01748.x

  • Dunlop K, Freeman S. Caterpillar dermatitis. Australas J Dermatol. 1997 Nov;38(4):193-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-0960.1997.tb01695.x. PMID: 9431713.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-0960.1997.tb01695.x

  • Jadoo AS, Treat JR. Caterpillar dermatitis: A brief report. Pediatr Dermatol. 2020 May;37(3):570-571. doi: 10.1111/pde.14126. Epub 2020 Mar 20. PMID: 32198780.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pde.14126

  • Chandrasekaran M, Mensah R. Caterpillar dermatitis. Indian Pediatr. 2008 Apr;45(4):307. PMID: 18451450.

    https://www.indianpediatrics.net/apr2008/307.pdf

Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (GP / Family doctor)

Yukiko Ueda

Yukiko Ueda, MD (Dermatology)

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