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It has been proposed that chronic antigenic stimulation plays a role in the pathogenesis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). By definition, antigenic stimulation triggers allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). It is therefore plausible that chronic ACD could serve as a precursor to CTCL. We report two cases of contact allergy to potassium dichromate, nickel and cobalt, where CTCL was diagnosed in one patient, and a diagnosis of CTCL is imminent in the other. We also review the literature on the diagnostic criteria for CTCL in the setting of ACD and explore potential mechanisms for the progression from ACD tos CTCL.