Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
DUARTE, Ida; KOBATA, Clarice and LAZZARINI, Rosana. Contact dermatitis in elderly patients. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2007, vol.82, n.2, pp. 135-140. ISSN 1806-4841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962007000200004.
BACKGROUND: Allergic contact dermatitis is a frequent condition and varies according to the population studied. OBJECTIVES: To verify the frequency of allergic contact dermatitis in elderly patients; to demonstrate the main sensitizers in this age group; to compare the results of the contact tests with those of a group of adults seen in the same period. Patients: From 1998 to 2003, elderly (over 65 years), and adults (aged 20-65 years) were selected among patients submitted to contact tests at the Dermatology Clinic of [Hospital] Santa Casa de Sao Paulo. RESULTS: Eighty (9%) elderly and 581(63%) adult patients were assessed; 70 elderly patients had positive tests and 10 had negative tests. In the adult group, 436 had positive tests and 145 negative tests. The difference between the groups was statistically significant (p=0.02). The most frequent sensitizers in the elderly group were nickel sulfate (p=0.001), fragrance-mix (p=0.004), neomycin (p=0.0008), nitrofurazone (p=0.02), promethazine (p=0.03) and benzocaine (p=0.007). CONCLUSIONS: Allergic contact dermatitis in the elderly is as frequent as in other age groups. The substances related to topical medicines are important etiologic agents of allergic contact dermatitis in elderly individuals.
Keywords : Adult; Elderly; Dermatitis; contact; Patch tests.