Nairobi Fly Dermatitis or Blister Beetle Dermatitis

nairobi fly dermatitis

How to treat Nairobi fly dermatitis

Causes of Nairobi Fly Dermatitis 

Blister Beetle Dermatitis which is also known as Nairobi Fly Dermatitis or Kenya Fly Dermatitis or Paederus Dermatitis is caused by Paederus sabaeus which is also known as the rove beetle or Nairobi fly.

This insect contains a toxic hemolymph known as pederin which causes a type of irritant contact dermatitis when the insect is crushed on the skin.

nairobi fly dermatitis

Symptoms of Nairobi Fly Dermatitis

Symptoms of blister beetle dermatitis include vesicles and bullae (blisters) on the skin with associated redness and edema (swelling).

These symptoms usually develop on parts of the body not covered by clothes.

Treatment of Nairobi Fly Dermatitis

Treatment of this skin condition includes:

1. Washing the affected area with a mild antiseptic like Chlorhexidine Hibiclens antibacterial liquid soap.

2. Applying a mild steroid cream like Hydrocortisone cream for around 5 days.

3. Taking antihistamines by mouth. Examples include the non-sedating fexofenadine (Allegra) and loratadine (Claritin) as well as the less sedating cetirizine (Zyrtec).

4. Taking antibiotics like Flucloxacillin by mouth if the skin lesion is infected by bacteria.

The treatment of this skin condition is optional since the symptoms can resolve spontaneously in 1-4 weeks.

blister beetle dermatitis 2

Self-care for Nairobi Fly Dermatitis

Wash all the articles of clothing that may have come in contact with the crushed bettle. Since most of the crushing occurs at night as a person tries to rub the bettle from their skin, this will include bed sheets and pillowcases.


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