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Contactsczemas and Patch testing

Contact eczemas are skin disorders, which develop through contact with externally added substances. They may have an allergic cause (e.g. nickel eczema). However, they can also result from simple irritation of the skin (e.g. abrasion eczema due to frequent contact with cleaning agents). Allergic contact dermatitis may also be caused by cosmetics, jewelry, leather, preservatives, cream or ointment bases, or by textiles.

Symptoms

Contact eczema is manifested through pruritus, redness, blistering, or flaking at the site of contact, but allergic contact eczema can also spread to other areas of the body.

Possible Causes

  • Nickel allergy (nickel eczema)
  • Abrasions due to frequent contact with cleaning agents (abrasion eczema)
  • Allergic contact eczema may result from exposure to specific constituents in cosmetics, jewelry, preservatives, ointment bases, or even textiles.


Diagnosis

The most important measure in allergy diagnosis is skin sensitivity or epicutaneous testing (patch test). In this test, adhesive patches containing allergens are applied to the patient’s back and left in place for two days. On day three, the patches are removed, and reactions are evaluated on the third and fourth day.



Patient Organization

Deutsche Kontaktallergie-Gruppe (DKG)

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