The “coloring wipes” phenomenon: a peculiar skin pigmentation induced by ascorbic acid observed during lockdown.

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During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, an outbreak of children with yellow-to-brown pigmentation on the skin was observed. Because of the restrictions on movements promulgated during the lockdown, most consultancies were performed using teledermatology. Data concerning personal care products and topical substances application were collected revealing the use of the same brand of wipes in all the patients. A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis was performed to compare the components of the wipes before and after the observation of the pigmentation, in order to detect the responsible substance revealing a level about ten fold higher of ascorbic acid and its oxidation products (dehydroascorbic acid and L-threonic acid) in the wipes associated with the pigmentation. The “coloring wipes” represented a peculiar but harmless phenomenon that highlights the importance of a careful collection of personal care products used by patients.

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