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Making Contact for Contact Dermatitis: A Survey of the Membership of the American Contact Dermatitis Society

Nezafati, Kaveh A. MD*; Carroll, Bryan MD; Storrs, Frances J. MD; Cruz, Ponciano D. Jr MD*

doi: 10.1097/DER.0b013e31828cbb15

Background The American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) is the principal organization representing the subspecialty of contact dermatitis in the United States.

Objective The aim of this study was to characterize ACDS members with respect to demographic characteristics, patch-test practices, and sentiments regarding the Society and its journal Dermatitis.

Methods We conducted cross-sectional postal and online surveys of ACDS members.

Results More than a third of ACDS members responded to the survey, 92% of whom practice dermatology, and most of whom are community practitioners. Responders manage patients with allergic and irritant dermatitis at a similar frequency. On average, they patch test 4 patients per week using 66 allergens per patient, which often include customized trays. Almost half of these practitioners learned patch testing from their residency programs. Most of the responders read and value the Society journal, value the Contact Allergen Management Program database, and attend society meetings.

Conclusions The ACDS is comprised overwhelmingly of dermatologists who are primarily community-based, young relative to the start of their practices, and use the Society’s resources for continuing education.

From the *Department of Dermatology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; †Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dallas, TX; and ‡Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR.

Address reprint requests to Kaveh A. Nezafati, MD, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390-9069. E-mail:

Dr Cruz has received honoraria from Mary Kay and RCTS and is currently receiving a grant (#5RO1AI64927) from the National Institutes of Health and a grant (#1I01BX000896) from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For the remaining authors, no conflicts of interest or sources of funding were declared.

© 2013 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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