Contact sensitization in 1094 children undergoing patch testing over a 7-year period

Stefania Seidenari, Francesca Giusti, Patrizia Pepe, Lucia Mantovani
Pediatric Dermatology 2005, 22 (1): 1-5
Contact sensitization in children is frequent. However, because exposure to sensitizing agents varies rapidly, it is of utmost importance to perform a periodic evaluation of patch test results. Our purpose was to compare our data on contact sensitization in children during the past 7 years to our previous 1988-1994 findings, in order to identify emerging allergens and update our pediatric series. From 1995 to 2001, 1094 consecutive children were examined. Of these, 997 patients were patch tested with our pediatric series, which includes 30 allergens, whereas 97 underwent patch testing with 46 allergens. A total of 570 children proved allergic (52.1%). The highest sensitization rate was observed in children under 3 years of age. No differences between atopic dermatitis patients and nonatopic ones were observed in the sensitization rate. Neomycin, nickel, wool alcohols, thimerosal, and ammoniated mercury gave most of the positive responses. With respect to 1988-1995 data, allergy to substances such as neomycin, nickel, wool alcohols, thimerosal, ammoniated mercury, propolis, potassium dichromate, and thiuram mix proved more frequent. In conclusion, as sensitization rates to different allergens show great variations over time, periodic evaluations of patch test results in children is necessary in order to update the test trays.

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