Allergic Contact Dermatitis (Pediatric)

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Allergic contact dermatitis is an allergy to a substance (the allergen) touching the skin. The reaction occurs 48–72 hours after exposure. Common allergens are nickel, chromates, rubber chemicals, and neomycin (an antibacterial medication).

  • Nickel is found in jewelry, belt buckles, and metal closures on clothing.
  • Chromates are found in shoe leathers.
  • Rubber chemicals are found in gloves, balloons, and elastic in clothes.
  • Neomycin is common in triple-antibiotic first-aid ointments such as Neosporin® (and generic versions of Neosporin) as well as other combination preparations containing other antibacterials and corticosteroids, as well as other topical ointments, creams, and lotions. It may also be found in eye medications, eardrops, and some vaccines.
  • Common allergen-containing products include cosmetics, soaps, dyes, and jewelry.
  • The most frequent triggers are fragrance, nickel, neomycin, formaldehyde, lanolin, and other chemicals that are common in the environment.
  • Poison ivy is a frequent cause and is discussed separately.
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