Nickel Sensitivity in Rosacea Patients: A Prospective Case Control Study

Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2019;19(3):367-372. doi: 10.2174/1871530319666190101120437.


Background: Rosacea is a frequently seen chronic disease. Certain allergens, some foods and beverages are known to trigger symptoms of rosacea.

Objective: We aimed to assess if nickel sensitivity is more common in rosacea patients than the normal population.

Method: Fourty patients with rosacea and 40 healthy age and sex-matched volunteers were included in the study. From European standard patch test series, test units with nickel were applied on the skin of the upper back. According to the scheme of the International Contact Dermatitis Research Group (ICDRG), test results were evaluated at 48th, 72th and 96th hours. Seven days later, reevaluation was done for late reactions. Statistical analyses were done by using Statistics package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 17 package program and p<0.05 was accepted as statistically significant.

Results: Female/male ratio was 34/6 in patient group and 32/8 in control group. Mean age of the patient group and the control group were 39.97±12.65 (18-65 years), 40.82±11.79 (19-68 years), respectively. Age and sex distributions were found to be statistically similar. Nickel allergy in the patient and control group was found to be 52.5%, 22.5% respectively and the difference between groups was statistically significant (p=0. 006).

Conclusion: Our results showed that there may be an association between nickel sensitivity and rosacea. Nickel sensitivity may be one of the underlying pathology or a triggering factor of the rosacea. Nickel restricted diet and avoiding the use of nickel-containing jewellery and piercings may extend the remission periods.

Keywords: Rosacea; certain allergens; chronic disease; diet; nickel; patch test..

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / epidemiology*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nickel / adverse effects*
  • Patch Tests / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rosacea / diagnosis*
  • Rosacea / epidemiology*
  • Rosacea / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • Nickel