Metal allergy and systemic contact dermatitis

Metal allergy can be characterised by contact dermatitis, but contact dermatitis can also arise through a systemically administered allergen such as zinc-containing fillings, when it reaches the skin via the circulatory system.

Zinc, cobalt, chromium and nickel are all present in our environment, and can easily be ingested, leading to symptoms in sensitive people. Sensitivity can be diagnosed by patch testing and oral metal challenge, as well as in vitro tests.

Source: Dermatology Research and Practice Journal

July 2012

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