[Caterpillar dermatitis. An increasing dermatologic problem in warmer regions of Germany]

Hautarzt. 2009 Jan;60(1):48-50. doi: 10.1007/s00105-008-1567-2.
[Article in German]


Caterpillar dermatitis or lepidopterism (Lepidoptera = butterflies) is a toxic-irritant, or rarely allergic, reaction triggered by the release of histamine, thaumetopoein and other kinins from the hairs of butterflies and caterpillars. In Central Europe, the two main causes of caterpillar dermatitis are the oak and pine processionary caterpillar. In addition to cutaneous reactions, patients may develop conjunctivitis, bronchitis and even anaphylactic reactions. We describe the cutaneous aspects of caterpillar dermatitis based on two case reports.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Climate*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact* / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact* / parasitology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact* / therapy
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moths*
  • Seasons*