An update on airborne contact dermatitis: 2007–2011

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Abstract

Background.

Reviews on irritant and allergic airborne contact dermatitis have been previously reported in the literature.

Materials and methods.

Here, we present an update based on recently published airborne-induced skin reactions. For this survey, we screened the journals Contact Dermatitis, Dermatitis, and included relevant articles from other journals during the period January 2007 to December 2011. We also present the airborne cases observed in our department during the same time period.

Results.

This survey provides an updated list of causal agents that have produced airborne allergic contact dermatitis, and briefly mentions some other types of skin reaction induced by airborne exposure. The sources of the reactions are multiple: drugs; plants, natural resins, and wood allergens; plastics, rubbers, and glues; preservatives and other chemicals; and metals.

Conclusions.

Airborne contact dermatitis is frequent, and most of the airborne allergens (and irritants) identified are in occupational settings. Drugs and preservatives have recently become more important causes. Dermatologists and occupational physicians need to be aware of them.

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