Recognizing and treating toilet-seat contact dermatitis in children

Pediatrics. 2010 Feb;125(2):e419-22. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-2430. Epub 2010 Jan 25.


Toilet-seat contact dermatitis is a common condition around the world and is reemerging in the United States. It can be easily recognized and treated. However, few practitioners consider this diagnosis, which results in a delay in treatment and often exacerbation of the skin eruption. In the past, exposure to wooden toilet seats and associated varnish, lacquers, and paints led to the development of an allergic contact dermatitis on the buttocks and posterior thighs. In recent years, most public facilities have changed to plastic seats, resulting in a change in the clinical presentation of toilet-seat dermatitis. We present 5 cases of toilet-seat dermatitis in children from the United States and India and review the history, presentation, and clinical course of the disease. Our findings suggest that toilet-seat dermatitis is more common than previously recognized and should be considered in any child with a dermatitis that involves the buttocks and posterior thighs.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Buttocks
  • Child
  • Dermatitis, Contact / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / prevention & control
  • Dermatitis, Contact / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritants
  • Male
  • Protective Devices
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / adverse effects
  • Thigh
  • Toilet Facilities*


  • Irritants
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds