What is chloracne and how is it treated?

Updated: Jul 29, 2019
  • Author: Julianne H Kuflik, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Exposure to halogenated aromatic hydrocarbon compounds, such as chlorinated dioxins and dibenzofurans, by inhalation, ingestion, or direct contact of contaminated compounds or foods induces a cutaneous eruption of polymorphous comedones and cysts referred to as chloracne. Other associated skin findings may include xerosis and pigmentary changes. Internal changes involving the ophthalmic, nervous, and hepatic systems may also occur, and some chloracnegens can be oncogenic. Treatment is difficult because chloracne may persist for years, even without further exposure. Chemicals that contain iodides, bromides, and other halogens can also induce an acneiform eruption similar to that of steroid acne; however, the iodide-induced eruption may be more extreme.


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