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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Allergic contact dermatitis in children with and without atopic dermatitis

Donatella Schena, Anastasia Papagrigoraki, Gianpaolo Tessari, Anna Peroni, Chiara Sabbadini, Giampiero Girolomoni
Dermatitis 2012, 23 (6): 275-80
23169209

BACKGROUND: Prevalence and causes of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) in children vary with time and geographical area.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the relevant allergens causing ACD in children and the relation between ACD and atopic dermatitis (AD).

METHODS: A cohort study on 349 children (0-15 years old) patch tested over a 7-year period was conducted.

RESULTS: Patch test results were positive for at least 1 allergen in 69.3% of patients and were relevant in 69.8%. The highest sensitization rate (76.7%) was observed in children who are 0 to 5 years old (n = 86, 64% females), followed by the group of 6- to 10-year olds (70%, n = 157, 47.8% females), whereas 62.3% of 11- to 15-year-old children (n = 106, 59.4%) were sensitized. The most frequent allergens were nickel (16.3%), cobalt (6.9%), Kathon CG (5.4%), potassium dichromate (5.1%), fragrance mix (4.3%), and neomycin (4.3%). Body areas mostly affected were upper limbs and hands (31%). Approximately one third of children also had AD. Allergic contact dermatitis was more widespread in children with AD. Patch tests resulted positive in 55.3% (50% relevant) of AD compared with 76.9% (77.5% relevant) of the children without AD. Sensitizers were similar to children without AD.

CONCLUSIONS: Very young children showed a high rate of relevant positive patch test reactions to common haptens. Allergic contact dermatitis may easily coexist with AD.

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