(Bridou; Parasitic disease of the lips)
Lemaistre first clearly described this peculiar affection of the lips. It is observed in certain districts of France and usually attacks infants and young children, rarely adults. In the large majority of the cases, the disease is limited to the labial commissures or angles of the mouth and the parts immediately adjacent. The involvement is symmetrical and presents a sodden and blanched appearance with secondary fissures and bleeding. The epithelium of the lips becomes thickened macerated and easily detachable and the neighboring parts, when affected, have the appearance of a projected and folded, whitish pellicle passing outward from the angle of the lips.
Etiology and Pathology. The disease is contagious as has been proven by its rapid spread in schools, infant asylums and maternity hospitals. The water supply, cups, spoons and other utensils are supposed to be the means of conveyance of the causative organism. Lemaistre believes that the streptococcus plicatilis is responsible, while Raymond, Planche and others have recognized in these cases the staphylococcus cereus albus and the staphylococcus aureus. The disease is evidently one of uncleanliness, chiefly found among children of the poor.
Prognosis and Treatment. This disease runs an acute course in from two weeks to two months, often with a marked tendency to relapse. Proper hygiene is the best prophylaxis. The treatment of the active disease calls for the local use of solutions or ointments of silver nitrate, ammoniated mercury, mercuric chlorid, alum and copper sulphate, the sterilization of utensils and the investigation of the water-supply.