Aims: The results of patch testing in children visiting our out-patient clinic with suspected allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) were prospectively investigated and compared with those reported in the literature. A review of the literature on patch testing and ACD in children is provided. Methods: Children were patch tested using the TRUE® test, supplemented with tixocortol-17-pivalate, budesonide and 3 commonly used emollients. Supplementary patch tests were undertaken on indication. Results: Seventy-nine children (31 boys and 48 girls) were patch tested. Of the patients tested, 40 (51%) had 1 or more positive allergic patch test reactions. Twenty-two (55%) of these 40 children suffered from atopic dermatitis, 9 (23%) from hand or foot dermatitis, and 9 (23%) from other skin ailments. Nickel was the most common contact allergen, but many other common and less common allergens were noted to give positive patch tests in patients. Conclusion: Sensitization to contact allergens may begin in infancy and continue to be more common in toddlers and young children. In recalcitrant atopic dermatitis, especially at the age of 5 years and over, patch tests are indicated. Good information on preventing the development of ACD in children is useful for caregivers. Copyright

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Dermatology: international journal for clinical and investigative dermatology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Waard-van der Spek, F.B, & Oranje, A.P. (2009). Patch tests in children with suspected allergic contact dermatitis: A prospective study and review of the literature. Dermatology: international journal for clinical and investigative dermatology, 218(2), 119–125. doi:10.1159/000165629