COULD THIS BE A SIGN OF PHYSICAL ABUSE ?

If you see a person with a “black eye,” you have to consider that person may have been the victim of an attack. In an injury like that, the dark color is caused by bleeding under the skin’s surface. The color is a dark purple almost becoming black. In these cases, even the blackest eyes have a little purple at the periphery and there is no primary change to the surface of the skin. On close inspection of this case, the color was a dark brown with no purple or red. There also was scale on the surface indicating dermatitis. What on first impression looks like a black eye, close inspection reveals that an attack did not occur. This “black eye” was actually seborrheic dermatitis. The patient cleared very nicely with hydrocortisone ointment.

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