Purpose of review
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination has been performed since 1921, and remains the best method of preventing severe infections caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis, in its various forms, remains a public health problem, and more than 100 countries continue BCG vaccination in an effort to control the disease. Since the initiation of BCG vaccination, numerous complications have been reported. In this review we will focus on the cutaneous complications of BCG vaccination.
Recent case reports detail the development of large keloids, and also of juvenile sarcoidosis after BCG vaccination. Adverse outcomes from inadvertent intradermal injection of the forearm and from revaccination with BCG have also been reported. Other recently described skin complications subsequent to BCG vaccination include lupus vulgaris, delayed granuloma formation, cutaneous BCG infection in immune disorders, anterior chest wall mass, acute erythroderma with multiple skin abscesses, ulceration at the BCG site during Kawasaki disease, fixed drug eruption, and cutaneous abscesses following mesotherapy.
BCG vaccination will continue to be a key method of preventing severe tuberculosis infections for the foreseeable future. The World Health Organization currently recommends BCG vaccination for all infants living in tuberculosis endemic areas. As such, it is important for health care providers to recognize the routinely anticipated cutaneous findings of the vaccination, in addition to complications relating to the injection. Subsequent care of these skin complications is of paramount importance to the health of these patients.