Although contact allergy among children was previously considered to be rare, data from the past decade have shown that it is common among children and that the prevalence may be increasing.
To describe the demographics of all children referred for patch testing in Denmark during 2003-2011, to examine the frequency and relevance of positive patch test reactions, and to assess the most common allergens.
A retrospective analysis of the patch test data from the Danish National Database of Contact Allergy was performed.
Of 2594 children and adolescents aged 1-17?years, 25.1% had one or more positive patch test reactions. The associated relevance was 66.4%. The most common sensitizers were metals, fragrances, and hair dyes. The frequency of positive patch test reactions and allergic contact dermatitis was significantly higher among girls.
Allergic contact dermatitis in children is a significant clinical problem. Contact allergy should always be considered when children with recalcitrant eczema are encountered, and special attention should be paid to girls. Patch testing is important, and children may be tested with the same patch test concentrations as adults.
Only in Sweden is skin disease reputedly caused by working at visual display units (VDUs) a considerable problem. In the present work facial skin complaints in VDU-exposed persons have been studied by means of epidemiological, clinical and histopathological methods. The results can be summarized as follows. Half the patients referred for dermatological examination because of facial skin complaints they attributed to working at VDUs had rosacea. Most of them claimed that they had pronounced symptoms, but their skin lesions were mild. When they were followed up most of the patients reported improvement without pharmacological therapy in spite of continued VDU work. Individuals exposed to VDUs had significantly more self-reported skin complaints than a nonexposed control population of office employees, but no more visible signs. Skin tumours with malignant potential and unilateral facial skin signs were found in the same frequencies in both categories. Rosacea was the most common facial skin condition (10%) in the 809 randomly selected office employees (mean age 43 years) examined, and this condition as well as the occurrence of telangiectases (found in 57% of the examined population) was no more common among the exposed persons. The answers in the self-administered questionnaires (n = 3745), used when studying the office employees, corresponded poorly to skin status (only 46% correlated), but were reasonably accurate as regards the occurrence of more clear-cut symptoms, such as in atopic or seborrhoeic dermatitis. Patients with skin complaints they said were associated with VDUs had no characteristic histological changes in facial skin. Histological changes of varying degree were also common among the control subjects without skin complaints or exposure to VDUs. This is particularly true of the degree of degenerative change in elastic fibers, which increased with age. Rosacea was more common in women, and there was a strong association between rosacea and migraine, as well as between migraine and patients with symptoms thought to be related to work at VDUs. In contrast to previous assumptions, most subjects with rosacea in this study experienced no impairment due to exposure to sunlight. This work shows that people exposed to VDUs had subjective skin symptoms more often than a nonexposed control population. The design of the study does not permit an analysis of the cause of this phenomenon. The occurrence of skin signs in persons exposed to VDUs is, however, fortuitous from an epidemiological viewpoint.
This longitudinal study is a part of the interdisciplinary project. The Office Illness Project in Northern Sweden, which was initiated with a questionnaire study in late 1988. Among 3233 visual display terminal (VDT) workers, an initial case-referent group of 163 individuals was selected. The data acquisition included two questionnaires, assessments at the workplaces, interviews with personnel staff of the organizations concerned, and a clinical examination of the respondents. Subjects participating in the case-referent study 1988 filled out a questionnaire in the beginning of 1994. The primary objective of this study is to discuss changes in and causes of facial skin symptoms among VDT workers in the long term. The results show that (1) facial skin symptoms among VDT workers seem to be of a transitory nature for most of those with isolated skin symptoms, whereas the prognosis for those with a more complex symptom picture is more negative, (2) assumptions that measures taken in the work environment-including those involving the VDT and other electric devices-would have a positive effect on symptoms were not supported, and (3) the strongest external risk indicators for lasting skin symptoms seem to be found in the psychosocial work environment. Therefore, one important issue for the understanding of facial skin symptoms is organizational climate and personnel policies. The results also imply that individual factors, both constitutional and psychological, must be considered.
BACKGROUND. The Office Illness Project in northern Sweden, comprising both a screening questionnaire study of 4943 office workers and a case-referent study of facial skin symptoms in 163 subjects was recently completed. Previously published results from the survey showed that female gender, asthma/rhinitis, high psychosocial work load, visual display terminal (VDT) and paperwork were related to an increased prevalence of facial skin symptoms. METHODS. The case-referent study presented in this paper used data from the questionnaire supplemented by information from a clinical examination, a survey of psychosocial factors at work, building data and VDT-related factors from inspection and measurements taken at the work site. RESULTS. Psychosocial conditions and exposure to electromagnetic fields or conditions associated with such factors were related to an increased occurrence of skin symptoms. The results also indicated that personal factors such as atopic dermatitis and physical exposure factors influencing indoor air quality, such as paper exposure and cleaning frequency were related to an increased prevalence of symptoms. CONCLUSIONS. The results suggest that skin symptoms reported by VDT users have a multifactorial background.
In the year 2000, the level of methyldibromo glutaronitrile (MDGN) allergy in dermatology clinics in Europe exceeded the level of allergies to all other preservatives, with a prevalence of 3.5%. In the present study, cases of primary sensitization and elicitation to MDGN due to cosmetic products were collected over an 8-month period at the Department of Dermatology, Gentofte University Hospital. The aim was to identify the products related to hand eczema, assess exposure to MDGN in these products and relate the findings to results from a newly developed updated risk assessment model for contact allergy. Out of 24 patients with a positive patch test to MDGN, 17 patients with hand eczema were identified. In 11 of these patients, cosmetic products used in relation to the onset of the disease were shown to contain MDGN (65%). In 8 of these 11 cases, primary sensitization was probable, 5 due to hand/body lotions and 3 due to lotions and/or liquid hand soap. Chemical analysis of 12 products showed that lotions contained 149-390 ppm of MDGN, liquid hand soap 144-399 ppm, a rinsing cream 293 ppm and shampoos 78-79 ppm. The shampoo exposure was not of certain relevance to the eczema. Applying the newly developed updated risk assessment model showed that the concentrations of MDGN in lotions of 149-390 ppm exceeded the calculated maximum acceptable exposure level for MDGN, which would be expected to lead to sensitization in consumers using such products, as seen in the current study. The present cases and updated exposure-based risk assessment process add to the evidence and need for re-defining safe-use concentrations of MDGN in cosmetic products.
BACKGROUND: This study is a part of the interdisciplinary project The Office Illness Project in Northern Sweden, which was initiated with a questionnaire study in late 1988. Previously published results from the project have shown that facial skin symptoms reported among visual display terminal (VDT) workers are associated with a number of exogenous factors. This part of the project investigated the relation between the psychosocial work environment and facial skin complaints. METHODS: From an initial questionnaire study among 4943 office workers, 163 VDT workers were selected for a case referent study of facial skin symptoms. The data comprise a self-administered questionnaire filled out by 149 subjects and interviews with representatives of the organizations concerned. RESULTS: Psychosocial conditions, especially lack of social support from co-workers, were associated with an increased risk of reporting skin symptoms. Stratification by sex showed that the associations between some psychosocial factors and health differed between men and women. The results indicate that there might be an interaction between psychosocial factors and electric fields in the workplace which increases the risk of reporting skin symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the idea that the aetiological basis of facial skin symptoms among VDT-workers includes physical as well as psychosocial factors, and that the interaction between such factors might be significant in the understanding of skin complaints among VDT workers.
In a population-based survey of public health issues in Stockholm, Sweden, self-reported hand eczema, history of childhood eczema, nickel allergy, occurrence of skin symptoms on the face and intolerance to cosmetics and hygiene products, were investigated. A postal questionnaire was sent to 15,000 inhabitants aged 19-80 years. The response rate was 73%. The 1-year prevalence of hand eczema was 8% (females 10%, males 6%). History of childhood eczema was reported by 15% and, of these, 42% also stated positively that they had had hand eczema at some time. Hypersensitivity to nickel was owned to 15% of the females and 3% of the males. Of the nickel-sensitive, 30% reported ever having had hand eczema. The combination of nickel allergy and history of childhood eczema resulted in a cumulative prevalence of hand eczema of 56%. Females reported more hand-washings per day than did males, and a relation between number of hand-washings and hand eczema was found. Self-reported 1-year prevalence of skin symptoms on the face was 14% and, of these, 33% also owned to hypersensitivity to cosmetics. Dermatitis appears to be a common health problem. This fact should be made clear to those who give priority and allocate resources to health problems, e.g., by participation of dermatologists in performing population-based surveys.