Why is this woman’s face red and itchy?

June 30, 2010

An itchy facial rash of 1 week's duration prompts a 72-year-old woman to see her primary care provider. She reports that redness and scaling had developed on her cheek, and that vitamin E oil she applied to the area seems to have made it worse.

Case 1:

An itchy facial rash of 1 week's duration prompts a 72-year-old woman to see her primary care provider. She reports that redness and scaling had developed on her cheek, and that vitamin E oil she applied to the area seems to have made it worse.


 

Answer on Next Page

Case 1: Allergic reaction to vitamin E oil 

This is an allergic reaction to the vitamin E oil, A. The cause of the original redness and scaling was masked by the allergic reaction. The rash resolved after discontinuation of the oil and applications of corticosteroid cream.

 

The distribution of the rash is not typical of seborrhea; the appearance of the lesions is not characteristic of rosacea. Cellulitis would cause more pain as would contact dermatitis, which would have a target-like appearance.

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