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ISSN: Print -2349-0977, Online - 2349-4387
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-40

Allergic contact dermatitis in children: Culpable factors, diagnosis and management

Department of Dermatology, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Taru Garg
Department of Dermatology, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-0977.131860

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Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is not uncommon in children. Prevalence of ACD was previously thought to be low in children and adolescents, but of late increased prevalence has been reported. Actual increase in the prevalence could be due to increased recognition of the disease or due to other factors such as changes in lifestyle. Various factors such as age, gender, atopy, social and cultural practices, habits of parents and caregivers, and geographical changes may influence the prevalence and pattern of ACD in children. It can significantly affect the quality of life among children. ACD can affect various sites, including hands, face, neck, axillae, trunk, anogenital region, thigh, feet, and others, depending on the site of exposure to allergen. Common allergens implicated in childhood ACD include nickel, cobalt, potassium dichromate, mercury, aluminium, skin care products, fragrances, neomycin, dyes, preservatives, rubber, and so on. Identification of the implicated allergen is vital as the patient may experience recurrent episodes of dermatitis in the absence of avoidance of allergen. Patch testing is by far the commonly used method of identification of the causative allergen. The only etiologic treatment is elimination of the contact allergen. The patients/parents should be informed about the identity of the offending agent and the possible sources of the sensitizer. Topical steroids used in the acute stage and topical calcineurin inhibitors along with oral H1-antihistamines to alleviate itching are the mainstay of treatment. In widespread and severe cases, systemic corticosteroids may be indicated for a short period of time. The prognosis of ACD is dependent on its cause and the feasibility of avoiding repeated or continued exposure to the causative allergen.

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