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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2009 October;144(5):541-56

language: English

Allergic contact dermatitis in children: a review of international studies

Matiz C. 1, Hsu J. W. 1, Paz Castanedo-Tardan M. 2, Jacob S. E. 1

1 Rady Children’s Hospital – UCSD, Division of Dermatology, San Diego, CA, USA
2 Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Section of Dermatology, Lebanon, NH, USA


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In the recent past in the United States, allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) was thought to be a disorder affecting mainly adults. It was rarely diagnosed in the pediatric population, partly due to beliefs that children had immature immune systems and were less frequently exposed to chemical allergens when compared to adults. Also, patch testing for affected children was not as widely utilized in the pediatric population as it is today. While patch testing in children may require some modifications to the technique, the international (non-US) data from the last decade in addition to the US data reported this past year indicate that ACD in children is an increasingly common condition, equally prevalent and relevant to adults. According to our review of the international data available on pediatric patch testing, the top five global allergens were found to be nickel, cobalt, antibiotics, fragrances, and rubber chemicals. Although these allergens display a relatively consistent prevalence rate across the world, disparities can be attributed to regional variations in local trends, customs, and fashions. In this review pediatric patch test results from countries throughout the globe have been compared while focusing on geographic differences on some of the most common contact allergens that affect children worldwide.

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sjacob@contactderm.net.