Health: Contact Allergies in Children: What Are the Most Common Triggers?

Health: Contact Allergies in Children: What Are the Most Common Triggers?

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The most common triggers of contact allergies in children
Up to 20 percent of Germans suffer from a contact allergy. Many children are also affected. Direct contact with the relevant allergy trigger leads to redness, blisters, swelling or weeping, itchy rash on the affected areas. Researchers identified most contact allergens in children.

Up to 20 percent of Germans have a contact allergy
Contact allergies are common. According to the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB), 15 to 20 percent of the population in Germany is sensitized and allergic to at least one of the most common contact allergens. After direct contact with the allergy trigger, symptoms such as reddening, severe itching, swelling, blisters and oozing rash appear on the skin of those affected. Contact with the allergen should therefore be avoided absolutely and consistently. But you have to know what triggers the allergic reactions.

Some substances are particularly common as allergens
"In theory, any natural or artificial substance can trigger an allergy," writes the DAAB. "Some substances such as certain metals, fragrances or preservatives are particularly common as allergens."

A research team led by Dr. Hannah Hill of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale (USA) examined pediatric data on allergy tests in a study to determine the most contact allergens in children.

Dr. Catalina Matiz, pediatrician in San Diego, California, now presented the results of the scientists on the "Pediatric News" Internet portal and offered practical advice on how to avoid allergens.

The most common contact allergens in children
The professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) lists the most common allergens - in descending order - on its website "".

Tixocortol pivalate; a corticosteroid found in nasal sprays, among other things.

Propylene glycol; a solvent used, for example, to dissolve ear wax.

Methylchlorisothiazolinon (MCI) / Methylisothiazolinon (MI): These serve as preservatives and are now banned in Europe on cosmetics that cannot be rinsed off, according to the BVKJ.

Cocamidopropyl betaine; a surfactant that has a foam-stabilizing and viscosity-increasing effect in shampoos and shower gels.

Lanolin, "also known as wool wax, is widely used in personal care products for neurodermatitis patients," said Dr. Matiz.

Benzalkonium chloride; an antiseptic that works against viruses and bacteria and often also serves as a preservative for nose drops and sprays.

Neomycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Nickel is the last in the list. The health risk of a contact allergy caused by this metal is often discussed in Germany, not least because more and more nickel is used in fashion jewelry.

In recent years, experts have even warned of the possibility of a skin rash on the iPad due to nickel traces.

Avoid contact with known allergy triggers
People with a contact allergy should absolutely and consistently avoid contact with the allergen. If necessary, individual protective measures can be taken: protective gloves, skin protection foam or skin protection ointments help in some cases.

Existing dermatitis is usually treated with medication. Dr. Matiz recommends allergy tests if the symptoms have not improved after eight weeks despite avoiding allergens.

The expert also pointed out that contact allergies should be suspected in patients with atopic dermatitis if the location of the rash is not typical of atopic dermatitis, if the rash is geometric or symmetrical, or if atopic dermatitis treatment does not work or if the neurodermatitis worsens . (ad)

Author and source information

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