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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 December;142(6):659-67

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Excited skin syndrome revisited in 2007

Pua J. M., Maibach H.

Department of Dermatology University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA


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Patch testing is one of the most useful tools in the armamentarium of the dermatologist. Although it is an objective test, difficulties arise in cases of ambiguous patch test reactions which lead to confusion as to whether there is a real allergy to a particular substance. Excited skin syndrome (ESS) is a a state of skin hyperirritability where patch testing reveals multiple positive reactions associated with one or more strongly positive tests, which are not all reproduced when the patient is retested. This phenomenon has been a widely debated topic over the years and several different theories have been proposed to elucidate the mechanisms of such. This article discusses the history of ESS, the factors affecting it as well as the current consensus for managing the said condition.

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