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Broom stick dermatitis
Apcor Gardens, Asansol, WB
|How to cite this article:
Banerjee K, Banerjee R. Broom stick dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2003;69:39-40
AbstractSoft plastic handle cover of newly produced broom stick causing contact dermatitis in reported.
Broom sticks are produced in India from natural materials. The use of broom sticks is obsolate in western world due to frequent use of vaccum cleaner.
A 25-year-old lady was referred for evaluation of sudden onset of superficial papulopustular lesion of her thumb, index and middle fingers of right hand [Figure - 1]. With a suspicion of contact dermatitis standard battery of patch test was done. The patch test was negative for all the antigens used from standard stock of materials except she was positive to p-tert - butyl phenol formaldehyde resin 1 % and epoxy resin 1%. It was ++positive after 48 hours and ++++positive after 72 hours. She was non atopic subject. Blood biochemistry and relevant investigations failed to clinch the diagnosis. After topical use of mometas one cream the lesions subsided within a short time [Figure - 2] but recurred after stoppage of treatment. On subsequent visit she was thoroughly interrogated for her habits, hobbies, employment other than house hold jobs. At last she mentioned that she started cleaning her house floor with broom sticks because maid servant was sick and not coming for a few weeks. She was requested to bring the broom stick. The handle of the stick was covered with plastic material for more durability [Figure - 3]. Patch test with the material produced +++ positivity within 48 hours.
Cheap plastic materials used to manufacture chappals, dotpen bodies and watch band have been known to produce contact dermatitis but from using common broom stick with recently developed plastic handle producing contact dermatitis has not been reported. Major contact dermatitis from plastic reported by Kanerva, is from epoxy resin (high molecular weight) low mol weight and also from phenol formaldehyde resins. If resins are not properly treated some are left out in free form which can easily react to produce irritant/contact dermatitis. Cheap type of plastic material not properly treated using epoxy hardeners are probably responsible for contact dermatitis of the fingers while using typical broom stick recently available in Indian market.
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