Purpose of review
Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) was once thought to be rare in children but recent studies have demonstrated that the prevalence of ACD is common and appears to be increasing in children. Current trends including toys, hobbies, and personal care products may play a role in potentially new allergen exposure or resurgence of certain allergens, making ACD a moving target in children.
ACD and atopic dermatitis can coexist and certain clinical features can help differentiate ACD from endogenous atopic dermatitis in children. It is important to consider ACD in children with recalcitrant atopic dermatitis or dermatitis with atypical distribution. Patch testing has become a more common practice in children. In 2018, the first expert consensus–derived pediatric baseline series consisting of 38 allergens was proposed to aid in the diagnosis of ACD in children. Comparing recent patch testing data in the pediatric population, the top allergens ubiquitously identified were nickel, cobalt, neomycin, Myroxylon pereirae (balsam of Peru), fragrance mix I, fragrance mix II, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone/ methylisothiazolinone, formaldehyde, and lanolin.
ACD is a common problem in children. Detection through patch testing, avoidance of offending allergens, and prevention of common allergens are the main focus of management of ACD in children.