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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia

Print version ISSN 0365-0596On-line version ISSN 1806-4841


DUARTE, Ida; AMORIM, José Roberto; PERAZZIO, Eliene Félix  and  SCHMITZ JUNIOR, Rutsnei. Metal contact dermatitis: prevalence of sensitization to nickel, cobalt and chromium. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2005, vol.80, n.2, pp.137-142. ISSN 0365-0596.

BACKGROUND: Metal contact dermatitis (nickel, cobalt and chromium) is a common dermatosis among several population groups. OBJECTIVE: To describe the individuals with metal contact dermatitis in the group studied, to determine the prevalence of skin sensitization by nickel, cobalt and chromium, to verify the positive test combinations among these three substances and to compare our results with the literature. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patch test was performed in 1208 patients with a presumptive diagnosis of contact dermatitis. Those with positive reactions to metals were selected. RESULTS: Out of the total sample, 404 (33.5%) patients had at least one positive reaction to nickel and/or cobalt and/or chromium. There were 487 positive reactions to metals (48% of all positive reactions). Most patients were female (72%) and white (54%), aged 40-49 years old (25%) and cleaning services workers (59%). Among the 404 patients, 329 (81.5%) had positive reactions to only one metal; in that, 60% were positive to nickel, 13% to chromium and 8.5% to cobalt. Approximately 18.5% had positive reactions to two or three metals and the association of nickel and cobalt was the most frequently observed. CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of positive reactions to metals was 48%, mainly in 40-49 year-old white women. Most patients were sensitive to only one metal and the dermatosis was not related to the occupation. The data obtained are in accordance with other studies published.

Keywords : Cobalt; Chromium; Dermatitis; contact; Metals; Nickel.

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