Conference Coverage

VIDEO: When to consider systemic exposure in patients with contact dermatitis



SAN FRANCISCO– When patients with contact dermatitis who have had a patch test positive to an allergen and are not improving despite avoiding cutaneous exposure, it’s important to consider the possibility of systemic exposure, according to Nina Botto, MD, of the department of dermatology, at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Theoretically, any allergen can cause a systemic contact dermatitis. The ones that we think about and encounter more frequently are earth metals like nickel and balsam of Peru, which is a component of many fragrances and flavorings,” she said in a video interview at the annual meeting of the Pacific Dermatologic Association.

In the interview, Dr. Botto, who is codirector of the Occupational and Contact Dermatitis Clinic at UCSF, provides recommendations on how to approach patients with systemic contact dermatitis, including dietary avoidance. But following these diets can be challenging. She recommends starting with avoiding cutaneous exposure to the suspected allergen. For patients not improving after two months of avoidance, “it may be reasonable to consider a diet,”she advised.

Dr. Botto cited the following two publications with tables and guidelines for diets as helpful resources for patients: Dermatitis. 2013 Jul-Aug;24(4):153-60 (for a diet low in balsam of Peru); and Dermatitis. 2013 Jul-Aug; 24(4):190-5 (for a diet low in nickel).

Another useful resource is the American Contact Dermatitis Society website, which produces a customized list of safe products for patients after they enter the allergen into the system.

Dr. Botto had no disclosures.

Next Article: