A Case Series of Chemical Dermal Injury Requiring Operative Intervention after Prolonged Dermal Methylene Chloride Exposure

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Journal of Medical Toxicology

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© 2021, American College of Medical Toxicology. Introduction: Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, is a volatile hydrocarbon used in paint strippers and removers. Toxicity from methylene chloride may include narcosis and elevated carbon monoxide (CO) levels. Significant injury to the skin can occur after prolonged exposure to methylene chloride and other hydrocarbon-based solvents causing a chemical dermal injury. Case Report: This case series describes three male patients with prolonged exposure to a methylene chloride–containing paint remover to the bilateral hands with two of the three patients requiring transfer to a tertiary burn center and operative intervention. The clinical significance and impressive resolution of dermal injury from prolonged methylene chloride exposure are highlighted with detailed images and a literature review. Discussion: Chemical dermal injury secondary to methylene chloride exposure likely results from destruction of lipids within the epidermis and dermis and direct chemical injury. Prolonged exposure to skin can result in clinically important injury that requires management by a burn specialist and may necessitate operative intervention. The severity of the dermal injury can range from severe to mild and should be considered by a clinician after skin exposure to hydrocarbons.


Carbon monoxide; Chemical dermal injury; Defatting dermatitis; Dichloromethane; Hydrocarbon; Methylene chloride


Dermatology | Toxicology



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