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Allergic Contact Dermatitis in Children: Review of the Past Decade


Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a type IV delayed hypersensitivity reaction. During the last decade, there has been a heightened awareness of this disease in the pediatric population. The gold standard for diagnosis is patch testing. The prevalence of positive patch tests in referred children with suspected ACD ranges from 27 to 95.6 %. The most common allergens in children in North America are nickel, neomycin, cobalt, fragrance, Myroxylon pereirae, gold, formaldehyde, lanolin/wool alcohols, thimerosal, and potassium dichromate. The relationship between ACD and atopic dermatitis (AD) is complicated with conflicting reports of prevalence in the literature; however, in a patient with dermatitis not responding to traditional therapies, or with new areas of involvement, ACD should be considered as part of the work-up.

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Conflict of Interest

Sharon E. Jacob is a board member for the American Contact Dermatitis Society and has served as a consultant for Johnson & Johnson.

Shehla Admani declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Dr. Jacob and Dr. Admani are independent investigators for the PREA-2 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of the 3 panel T.R.U.E. ™ test in children.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Sharon E. Jacob.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Allergic Skin Diseases

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Admani, S., Jacob, S.E. Allergic Contact Dermatitis in Children: Review of the Past Decade. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 14, 421 (2014).

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  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Patch test
  • Pediatric
  • Children
  • Allergen
  • Allergic sensitization
  • Atopic dermatitis