The influence of environmental exposures on the frequency of contact allergies in children and adolescents

Czarnobilska E, Dyga W, Krzystyniak D, Obtulowicz K, Spiewak R

Source: Czarnobilska E, Dyga W, Krzystyniak D, Obtulowicz K, Spiewak R. Wplyw narazen srodowiskowych na czestosc alergii kontaktowej u dzieci i mlodziezy. Alergol Immunol 2010; 7 (1-2): 19-23.


Abstract: Contact allergy is detected in every second child with the symptoms of chronic or recurrent eczema, and in every third child the final diagnosis is allergic contact dermatitis. Haptens responsible for majority of contact sensitizations in children are substances ubiquitous in our environment, e.g. metals, preservatives, fragrances, propolis and balsam of Peru. Much concern is provoked by the higher rates of sensitization to fragrances in younger children as compared to adolescents, which may be attributed to the higher exposure of infants and children to fragrance products nowadays. On the other hand, a limitation of exposure to preservatives thimerosal and Kathon CG has resulted in decreased rates of sensitization to these haptens. Altogether, these observations demonstrate that the rates of contact sensitizations in children reflect changes in their environment, and that limits imposed on the use of haptens with strong sensitizing properties may be an effective tool in the prevention of contact allergy.

Key words: contact allergy, children, epidemiology, environmental exposures, haptens, nickel, propolis, fragrances, thimerosal, Kathon CG.

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Document created: 4 November 2010, last updated: 5 November 2010.