Baboon Syndrome

What is Baboon Syndrome?

Baboon syndrome is a type of contact dermatitis set apart from the rest by its location. While most forms of contact dermatitis manifest on the limbs and torso, baboon syndrome presents on the buttocks. The presentation of the rash is primarily in the form of erythmia (that is, redness), and in a symmetrical pattern, as would be seen on the bottom of a baboon (hence the name).

Baboon syndrome is systemic. It occurs as a result of exposure to a chemical after the skin has been made sensitive—that is to say, one exposure of the skin leaves it vulnerable, and following this, any form of exposure may then trigger it, be that exposure through ingestion, injection or inhalation that exposes the body to the irritant in a generalized manner.

It can be quite uncomfortable, as can be imagined by its location, and can in the worst cases make it painful to sit down. This may warrant symptomatic treatment, but baboon syndrome is not a serious health concern, and individuals suffering from baboon syndrome are not considered unwell. The worst element of baboon syndrome is the possible embarrassment.

Who gets Baboon Syndrome?

Baboon syndrome does not prey on a particular sort of individual. There is no genetic component to speak of, nor are men more likely than women to suffer from baboon dermatitis. It does not discriminate based on age. As a form of contact dermatitis, those with strong skin allergies are the most likely to suffer from baboon syndrome. Because baboon syndrome comes in two components, individuals who have not suffered an initial chemical exposure do not need to worry about any ill effects.

What causes Baboon Syndrome?

Baboon syndrome is caused by two things. An individual is made vulnerable to baboon syndrome by an initial exposure to an allergen. This exposure may or may not irritate the skin. The second component follows any secondary exposure to the same allergen. Baboon syndrome is a systemic condition; as such, this exposure may be in the form of ingestion, inhalation, physical contact, injection or any other method.

This systemic element is what makes baboon dermatitis manifest on the buttocks as opposed to any area linked with the original exposure or the secondary exposure to the allergen. Most forms of contact dermatitis afflict the area of exposure, but because baboon dermatitis is not triggered in the same way, the rash is makes itself visible elsewhere.

The rash may be exacerbated by physical excoriation (scratching) and heat. Individuals that must sit for long periods of time, which may keep their buttocks fairly warm, may find that the inflammation and redness grows somewhat worse. However, this is an exacerbating factor, rather than a cause.

What does Baboon Syndrome cause?

Baboon syndrome causes a telltale symmetrical rash on the buttocks. This rash is unique in its symmetry and location, which may be removed from the original or secondary exposure to the allergen. This rash presents with erythmia, primarily, and may additionally hurt or itch.

Baboon syndrome is not permanent, and does not cause any lasting effects. The rash is the only symptom baboon syndrome is known to cause. Once the rash heals it is not known to recur. Subsequent exposures to the allergen may trigger additional, separate cases of baboon syndrome.

How serious is Baboon Syndrome?

Baboon syndrome is not serious. The most serious element of baboon syndrome is that it may signify a previously unknown skin allergy, but it does not pose a health risk. Individuals suffering from baboon syndrome are not considered unwell and do not merit treatment. The biggest concern that it may raise is determining what allergen triggered baboon syndrome, as this allergen may be a necessary component of a medication that a patient is taking.

Baboon syndrome may pose some trouble to individuals who have jobs that require they sit for extended periods of time, such as office assistants or data entry clerks. This may exacerbate any irritation that the signature rash may cause.

What does Baboon Syndrome treatment look like?

As with most forms of contact dermatitis, and many other skin conditions, the first treatment action is to remove the patient from the source of the rash. Baboon syndrome is unique, however, in that the rash does not stem from a simple single exposure, but rather an initial exposure followed by secondary exposures that actually trigger baboon syndrome. The secondary exposure may be from ingestion, injection, or some other form of exposure that may itself be a treatment for another ailment. Consequently, it may be more difficult to identify the triggering agent, and it may involve a prescribed treatment that cannot be simply abandoned.

Baboon syndrome treatment is primarily symptomatic. There is no effective treatment needed nor necessary to clear up the rash, which is almost purely cosmetic. however the rash may still be itchy or painful. Topical analgesics may be used to alleviate any painful discomfort. Anti-inflammatories may also be effective for this and the itching to some degree.

Treatment to clear up the rash itself is not indicated. Baboon syndrome does not require treatment in most cases, as baboon syndrome is not harmful.

How do I know if I have Baboon Syndrome?

Baboon syndrome can be easily identified by its hallmark symptom of a symmetrical erythmatic (red) rash appearing on the buttocks. Specifically, again, symmetrical: a rash that gravitates to one side or the other noticeably is more likely to be another form of contact dermatitis. Some patch testing may still be necessary to rule out other sources of rash formation.

Baboon syndrome can be easily identified. However, the cause of baboon syndrome can be a little more challenging; the secondary exposure that actually triggers the rash may not always be obvious, and the rash may not form immediately. Thus, it may be necessary to contact a medical professional for diagnoses and elucidation of the allergy.

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