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Acrodynia Treatment & Management

  • Author: Kamila K Padlewska, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Apr 14, 2016

Medical Care

Removal of the inciting agent is the goal of treatment. Correcting fluid and electrolyte losses and rectifying any nutritional imbalances (vitamin-rich diets, vitamin-B complex) are of utmost importance in the treatment of the disease.

The chelating agent meso 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid has been shown to be the preferred treatment modality. It can almost completely prevent methylmercury uptake by erythrocytes and hepatocytes.

In the past, dimercaprol (British antilewisite; 2,3-dimer-capto-l-propanol) and D-penicillamine were the most popular treatment modalities. Disodium edetate (Versene) was also used. Neither disodium edetate nor British antilewisite has proven reliable. British antilewisite has now been shown to increase CNS levels and exacerbate toxicity. N -acetyl-penicillamine has been successfully given to patients with mercury-induced neuropathies and chronic toxicity, although it is not approved for such uses. It has a less favorable adverse effect profile than meso 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid.[13]

Hemodialysis with and without the addition of L-cysteine as a chelating agent has been used in some patients experiencing acute renal failure from mercury toxicity.

Peritoneal dialysis and plasma exchange also may be of benefit.

Tolazoline (Priscoline) has been shown to offer symptomatic relief from sympathetic overactivity.

Antibiotics are necessary when massive hyperhidrosis, which may rapidly lead to miliaria rubra, is present. This can easily progress to bacterial secondary infection with a tendency for ulcerating pyoderma.



Long-term disability has been noted. Some patients have been shown to have lower intelligence test scores and abnormal electroencephalographic tracings, indicating possible organic damage to the CNS.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Kamila K Padlewska, MD, PhD Professor, Warsaw Academy of Cosmetics and Health Care; Chief Executive, Cosmetic-Medical Cooperative Izis, Poland

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jeffrey J Miller, MD Associate Professor of Dermatology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; Staff Dermatologist, Pennsylvania State Milton S Hershey Medical Center

Jeffrey J Miller, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology, Association of Professors of Dermatology, North American Hair Research Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Shyam Verma, MBBS, DVD, FAAD Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Virginia School of Medicine; Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, State University of New York at Stonybrook School of Medicine; Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Shyam Verma, MBBS, DVD, FAAD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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