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Herpes Zoster Masquerading as a Chemical Burn Secondary to Hair Dye

Crowley, Timothy P. MBChB, MSc, MRCS(Glasg); Stevenson, Susan MBChB, PhD, FRCS(Plast)

doi: 10.1097/BCR.0000000000000420
Case Report

Chemical burns secondary to hair dye are very rare but have been reported. Here, we present a case of herpes zoster, which was initially mistaken for a chemical burn. Herpes zoster reactivation (shingles) is common and can give rise to skin loss clinically similar to that of a burn. It is important that clinicians consider this alternative diagnosis to ensure that timely antiviral therapy is initiated so as to reduce further skin loss and future scarring.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Written consent for publication of the images included in this article was obtained from the patient.

Address correspondence to Timothy P. Crowley, Department of Plastic Surgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, United Kingdom. Email:

© 2017 The American Burn Association