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  Authority of Polish Society of Allergology

vol 12. no 3. September 2007  

 Postgraduate education
Contact allergy – diagnosing and treatment

The term “contact allergy” is somewhat problematic. Most textbooks and medical (both Polish and foreign-language) dictionaries do not define this term, or consider it synonymous with allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). However, putting equation mark between these terms is not justified: The term “contact allergy” denotes hypersensitivity as the state of altered immune response, whereas the second term describes symptoms of this hypersensitivity in the target organ (the skin). Contact allergy affects 40% adults and 20-30% children and adolescents, whereas the lifetime prevalence of ACD is around 10%. The golden standard in the diagnosis of contact allergy is patch test (epicutaneous test). Using patch tests increases the probability of accurate ACD diagnosis, makes the time to final diagnosis over 20-fold shorter, reduces the cost of treatment and increases chances for achieving complete remission, thus improves patients’ quality of life. In the treatment of ACD, in addition to allergen avoidance, corticosteroids and phototherapy are well-established therapeutic modalities. At present, tacrolimus is being implemented into ACD treatment.

keywords: alergia kontaktowa, alergiczne kontaktowe zapalenie skóry, alergiczny wyprysk kontaktowy, diagnostyka, testy płatkowe, leczenie, contact allergy, allergic contact dermatitis, allergic contact eczema, diagnosis, patch test, treatment

pages: from 109 to 127

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