When baboon syndrome is a special rash that is caused by certain medications. The term disease is derived from the English word ‘baboon’ for baboon and illustrates the main symptom of the disease. Patients with Baboon syndrome develop characteristic redness in the area of the buttocks, which also affects the flexions of the joints and the genital area.
What is Baboon Syndrome?
According to DigoPaul, baboon syndrome is sometimes referred to by the common abbreviation SDRIFE. The disease is usually triggered by special medicinal substances. By administering these drugs, people develop the typical red coloration. However, these are not substances that are typical contact allergens.
After taking the drug, red spots appear on the buttocks, genitals and groin (medical term “inguinae”). Basically, Baboon syndrome is a so-called erythema. It has a symmetrical shape and occurs on both sides. Another characteristic of Baboon syndrome is that it occurs in at least one bend of the joint in addition to the buttocks and genital area.
As a rule, there are no other systemic symptoms in Baboon syndrome. Baboon syndrome was first scientifically described by medical professionals in 1984. To date, around 100 patients have been registered with Baboon syndrome. In view of the low number of cases, Baboon syndrome is a very rare disease.
Baboon syndrome develops in some people in response to taking certain medicinal substances. The substances amoxicillin, ampicillin, metallic nickel and mesalazine, for example, are potential triggers of Baboon syndrome. Even with heparin, contrast agents with iodine content, omeprazole, allopurinol, mercury, terbinafine and cetuximab is possible causes of the Baboon syndrome.
The typical reactions in the corresponding areas of the skin develop in most cases within a few hours to several days after the systemic ingestion of the responsible drug. In some of the patients, the first symptoms do not appear until three days after the administration of the triggering substance.
Basically, Baboon syndrome is a special form of contact allergy. Such allergies are of type IV, which is transmitted via the cells. The allergens spread through the blood in the human organism.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
The characteristic symptoms of Baboon syndrome are reddened areas of skin on the genitals, buttocks and one or more flexions of the joint. The redness is symmetrical, and it shows up on both sides of the body. The color of the redness is similar to that of the natural buttocks coloring of certain baboons. This is where the name of Baboon Syndrome is derived.
In some cases, some of the crooks of the joints, such as the groin or the crook of the arm, are affected by the redness. The redness is relatively well demarcated from the surrounding areas. As a rule, people with Baboon syndrome do not develop any other systemic symptoms apart from the reddened skin areas.
Diagnosis & course
Patients with the typical symptoms of Baboon syndrome either consult their general practitioner or, if possible, a dermatologist or allergist immediately. During the first anamnesis, the existing complaints are recorded and their time of origin as well as the further circumstances of the first manifestation are discussed in the patient consultation.
When diagnosing Baboon syndrome, it is of the utmost importance to identify all medications the patient has taken in a given period of time and to examine their side effects. If the person concerned has ingested a substance that could potentially trigger Baboon syndrome, the suspicion of the allergy is considerably reinforced.
The clinical examinations initially include visual examinations of the patient and the diseased skin areas. In the majority of cases, laboratory blood analyzes are used to identify key parameters and anomalies. It is also mandatory for the doctor to check the patient’s vital functions such as blood pressure and heart rate.
In the next step of the examination, the doctor performs a differential diagnosis. Because numerous other diseases are similar in their symptoms to those of Baboon Syndrome, so that mistakes that must be avoided urgently are possible in the event of carelessness. For example, the doctor has to rule out mycoses, intertrigo, systemic contact dermatitis and anal eczema. In addition, the specialist differentiates Baboon syndrome from toxic shock syndrome and the so-called initial staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome.
Baboon syndrome is characterized by an acute reddish rash on the buttocks, in the groin and in the genital area. In addition to the buttocks and genital areas, the rash occurs in at least one bend in the joint. The crooks of the arm are mainly affected.
Patients feel a slight burning sensation in the affected areas of the skin. Other systemic complications usually do not occur. Since Baboon syndrome occurs as a direct result of taking certain medications or coming into contact with certain substances, individual therapeutic approaches quickly lead to success after diagnosis. The first symptoms appear within a few hours to three days after systemic intake of the triggering drug or contact with substances such as nickel.
Therefore, this contact allergy is considered to be uncomplicated and the symptoms disappear within one to two weeks after stopping the medication or the last contact. Long-term reddening of the skin has not yet been observed with this contact allergy. Therefore, the patients do not have to fear any complications or long-term effects after the treatment. Since Baboon syndrome occurs very rarely and individual therapeutic approaches are usually taken immediately, complications in patients without treatment have not been documented.
When should you go to the doctor?
Patients with the typical symptoms of Baboon syndrome should consult their family doctor or a dermatologist or allergist. If there is symmetrical reddening of the skin on the genitals, in the bends of the joints or on the buttocks after taking a drug, this at least indicates an allergic reaction that needs to be investigated. A medical professional can then narrow down the cause and diagnose or rule out Baboon syndrome.
If the rash is diagnosed, treatment of the symptoms should be initiated promptly. In addition to the general practitioner, various internists, allergologists and dermatologists can be considered for this. In addition, the exact cause of the syndrome must be determined. It is usually sufficient to stop using the responsible preparation and to alleviate the skin changes with the help of general medical measures.
Even if untreated for Baboon syndrome, complications are unlikely. A medical clarification is therefore only necessary to determine the cause. Only patients with existing skin or immune diseases should have conspicuous symptoms treated immediately in order to avoid problems and interactions.
Treatment & Therapy
In principle, Baboon syndrome is a benign disease. In the majority of cases, the erythema regresses within a few weeks as soon as the responsible drug is no longer taken. Usually this takes about a week or two. As far as we know so far, no patients with Baboon syndrome who suffer from reddening of certain areas of the skin over the long term have been observed.
Usually the reddened areas fade completely. If the symptoms are severe, drug therapy for Baboon syndrome is possible. In most cases, corticosteroids are used, which are applied topically. This usually reduces the acute symptoms quickly.
Outlook & forecast
The prospect of a cure for Baboon Syndrome is very good. The disease usually resolves itself in patients within a few weeks when they seek medical care and they are free of symptoms. If used optimally and in a coordinated manner, the available medication provides significant symptom relief within the first few days after ingestion. Eventually, regular use of the medication will lead to a full recovery of the patient.
In rare cases, intolerance to ingredients contained in the drug may occur, which will disappear again if the treatment plan is changed immediately and the drug is discontinued. Alternative preparations are available thanks to scientific advances that can be used. Their mode of action for curing Baboon Syndrome is also very good.
Without medical care, there is also no symptoms. In most cases, however, the healing process is significantly delayed. The affected areas of the skin must be spared and natural products to alleviate the symptoms are also available. However, giving in to a possible itch can lead to complications. Germs and pathogens can enter the organism through open wounds on the body and lead to further diseases. In severe cases, the patient is threatened with blood poisoning, which can be fatal.
Baboon syndrome can be prevented by avoiding the triggering medicinal substances in the case of known intolerance. Since a contact allergy to these substances is not known in all cases, prevention of Baboon syndrome is not possible in all people.
Follow-up care is usually not required for Baboon Syndro. The disease heals completely within a few weeks after stopping the drug in question. Subsequently, however, there is no immunity. Re-infection is possible. In order to prevent this, patients are responsible.
Triggering substances are to be avoided at all costs. Since not all allergens can always be clearly identified, a certain residual risk remains. The right contact person if you suspect Baboon syndrome is the dermatologist. He asks about all the medication he has taken recently and relates them to the symptoms. Sometimes he will also arrange for a blood sample to be drawn.
The nature of the disease means that after discontinuation of the triggering drug, the typical symptoms weaken and disappear. It is important to find another remedy with the same mode of action. That doesn’t always turn out to be easy. Sometimes skin redness caused by Baboon syndrome remains for weeks.
These are not just cosmetic in nature. Bacteria and infections can be transmitted through them. In the context of aftercare, it is therefore important to take it easy. The attending physician prescribes ointments and provides information about hygiene standards. Because of its antibiotic effect, willow bark is considered a suitable agent.
You can do that yourself
Baboon syndrome usually disappears on its own as soon as the responsible medication is discontinued. Nevertheless, some complications can arise that can be treated with the help of a few measures.
If the erythema has not subsided after a few days, the affected area must be checked for noticeable changes. Bleeding or infections in the area of the erythema are typical of a severe course. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see a doctor immediately. If the outcome is positive, it is sufficient to protect the skin on the affected area. Perfumed or otherwise irritating care products should be avoided until the erythema has subsided.
The painful erythema is best treated with the prescribed cortisone ointment. If the preparation shows no effect, natural remedies can be tried. Antibiotic willow bark or the pain-relieving ribwort, for example, are effective against inflammation. Even ginseng, coneflower, comfrey and mallow can be used in erythema.
At the same time, the affected areas of the skin must be spared and treated with care. In the event of bleeding and inflammation, the responsible doctor should be spoken to. Baboon syndrome may be caused by a serious medical condition that needs prompt treatment.