Top Ten Contact Dermatitis Allergens Identified

Pay attention to what your skin
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The Mayo Clinic research also confirms utility of patch testing to discover allergens and finds patients satisfied with testing, yet they recall only half of their allergens.

The researchers examined contact dermatitis testing results from 3,854 patients over a five-year period. The patients were tested with an average of 69 allergens. Allergen avoidance is the chief treatment for contact dermatitis, according to the paper, though at times corticosteroid creams are used to treat rashes. The scientists note that, however, three percent of patients with contact dermatitis are allergic to the topical steroids that would alleviate their symptoms.
Topping the list were:
  • Nickel (nickel sulfate hexahydrate) - metal frequently encountered in jewelry and clasps or buttons on clothing

  • Gold (gold sodium thiosulfate) - precious metal often found in jewelry

  • Balsam of Peru (myroxylon pereirae) - a fragrance used in perfumes and skin lotions, derived from tree resin

  • Thimerosal - a mercury compound used in local antiseptics and in vaccines

  • Neomycin sulfate - a topical antibiotic common in first aid creams and ointments, also found occasionally in cosmetics, deodorant, soap and pet food

  • Fragrance mix - a group of the eight most common fragrance allergens found in foods, cosmetic products, insecticides, antiseptics, soaps, perfumes and dental products

  • Formaldehyde - a preservative with multiple uses, e.g., in paper products, paints, medications, household cleaners, cosmetic products and fabric finishes

  • Cobalt chloride - metal found in medical products; hair dye; antiperspirant; objects plated in metal such as snaps, buttons or tools; and in cobalt blue pigment

  • Bacitracin - a topical antibiotic

  • Quaternium 15 - preservative found in cosmetic products such as self-tanners, shampoo, nail polish and sunscreen or in industrial products such as polishes, paints and waxes

MEDICA.de; Source: Mayo Clinic