Iranian Journal of Dermatology

Vol. 16, No. 63, Spring 2013
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The effects of sulfur mustard on the skin and their management: reviewing the studies conducted on Iranian chemical victims
Seyed Mansour Razavi, Masoud Saghafinia, Seyed Masoud Davoudi, Payman Salamati

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Date Received: 2013 / Jul / 22 Date Revised: 2013 / Jul / 22 Date Accepted: 2013 / Jul / 22

Background: The skin is among the main tissues affected by
Sulfur Mustard (SM) in chemical attacks. Iranian researchers
have performed extensive studies on the exposed victims and
have reported a wide spectrum of information in this field. The
main objective of this study was to develop a comprehensive
revision of data on the pathology, pathogenesis, clinical findings,
complications, and treatment of sulfur mustard exposure.
Method: This study was part of a systematic search which
included all the war related studies on Iranian victims. Among
nearly 300 retrieved articles, a total of 193 medical articles were
approved in terms of quality and were related to the Iraq-Iran
chemical war (1984-1988) out of which 48 were directly related
to the dermatologic effects of sulfur mustard. We used known
international databases such as ISI, Medline, Scopus, and Iranian
databases such as Iranmedex, SID, and Irandoc in this study.
Publishing the articles in approved journals was the main criterion
for their quality.
Result: In this study, the most common symptom in the delayed
phase of the exposure to SM was itching which was more frequently
seen in women as compared to men. The most common sign was
erythema in the skin. One of the chronic complications at the
site of exposure was mustard scar. Lipoma and cherry angioma
were the most common skin tumors which were reported.
Iranian researchers have presented different approaches for the
management of exposed victims.
Conclusion: In this study, in addition to the effects of SM on
the skin, some methods were presented for decontamination,
management of itching, vesicles, blisters and treatment of chronic
skin lesions.


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