According to a new report, adults and children who are referred for patch testing of allergens appear equally likely to have allergic contact dermatitis, although they tend to react to different allergens.
Skin reactions to allergens are common among children, according to the reasearch.
They can occur both on areas of the skin that come in direct contact with an allergen (contact dermatitis) and on areas that aren’t directly affected (atopic dermatitis).
Children suspected of contact dermatitis are often referred for patch testing, in which skin is exposed to various allergens affixed to a plaster tape to identify which cause a reaction.
Kathryn A. Zug, M.D., of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues analyzed results from 391 children age 18 and younger who underwent patch testing between 2001 and 2004.
They compared results of the pediatric population to a group of 9,670 adults (age 19 and older) who were tested during the same time period.
Children and adults tested positive for at least one allergen at approximately the same rate (51.2 percent for children vs. 54.1 percent for adults).
“Our study showed significant differences between the frequency of individual positive reactions to allergen patch tests in children and adults; children were more likely to have reactions to nickel, cobalt, thimerosal and lanolin, whereas adults were more likely to have positive reactions to neomycin, fragrance mix, M. pereirae and quaternium 15,” the authors write.
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