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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 December;142(6):669-71

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Contact dermatitis in children

Heine G., Worm M.

Allergy-Center-Charité Department of Dermatology and Allergology Charité Campus Mitte Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany


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A frequent cause of skin inflammation in adults, allergic contact dermatitis occurs also in childhood. Direct skin contact of haptens binding to proteins, yielding a full antigen, facilitates the exposition to antigen-presenting cells and consecutively recruitment of antigen-specific T cells. This immunological reaction shows a time-and-locus specific pattern of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, resulting in dermatitis. By systematic testing, the most frequent allergens in children were identified as thimerosal, gentamicin sulfate, nickel-II-sulfate, ammoniated mercury, cobalt-II-chloride, fragrance mix, bufexamac, compositae mix, propylene glycol and turpentine. The potentially high socioeconomic impact of early acquired contact dermatitis, e.g. in occupational dermatology, suggests that an improved prevention and control of frequent contact allergens is required. Moreover, more standardized than individual patch testing of children with suspect allergic contact dermatitis is needed.

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