Indian Journal of Dermatology
  Publication of IADVL, WB
  Official organ of AADV
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Year : 1988  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 29-33

Further studies on chronic arsenical dermatosis

Department of Dermatology, The School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta

Correspondence Address:
KC Saha
Department of Dermatology, The School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta

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ABSTRACT: The prevalence of chronic arsenical dermatosis from drinking tube well is more and more recognized in different villages of West Bengal. A total of 1068 cases have been recorded so far by the School of Tropical Medicina Calcutta, since 1st case diagnosed in July, 1983. 36 villages of 6 districts have been found to be affected so far with the disease. Melanosis (diffuse and spotted) and keratosis (diffuse & punctate in palms, soles and other sites) are the main features of the disease. Cutaneous malignancy was found in 3 out of 1000 cases of chronic arsenical dermatosis. The severity of dermatosis correlated well with concentration of arsenic in the consumed tube well water as well as the duration of arsenic contaminated water consumption. finding of significant concentration of arsenic in nails, hair and skin scales not only confirms the clinical diagnosis but also clinches the diagnosis in doubtfully positive cases and detects the subclinical arsenic toxicity in some of the apparently unaffected members of the affected family.

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