[Allergic contact dermatitis to cobalt and nickel in a metal industry worker. Case report and literature review]

Rev Alerg Mex. Jul-Sep 2019;66(3):371-374. doi: 10.29262/ram.v66i3.537.
[Article in Spanish]

Abstract

Background: Contact dermatitis is an eczematous skin reaction that is caused by repeated and direct exposure to an allergen: The prevalence of contact dermatitis to nickel is estimated at 17% in women and 3% in men, and 1-3% of the general population has allergic contact dermatitis to cobalt and chromium. Nickel, which is the leading cause of occupational dermatitis, shows reactivity to other metals; mainly chromium and cobalt.

Clinical case: A 47-year old man, with previous sensitization to nickel in childhood, is a worker in the metal industry, with occupational exposure to nickel and cobalt, and showed dermatosis predominantly in the upper limbs.

Conclusion: The risk of new sensitizations to metals (such as cobalt) has been increased by his previous sensitization to nickel that happened in childhood and his work in the metal industry.

Antecedentes: La dermatitis por contacto es una reacción eccematosa en piel causada por la exposición repetida y directa de un alérgeno; se estima que la prevalencia de dermatitis de contacto al níquel es de 17 % en mujeres y 3 % en hombres y que 1 a 3 % de la población general presenta dermatitis de contacto alérgica a cobalto y cromo. El níquel es la causa más importante de dermatitis ocupacional y presenta reactividad a otros metales, principalmente cromo y cobalto. Caso clinico: Hombre de 47 años, con previa sensibilización a níquel en la infancia, trabajador de la industria metalúrgica, con exposición laboral a níquel y cobalto, quien presentó dermatosis de predominio en miembros superiores. Conclusión: La sensibilización previa a níquel en la infancia y el trabajo en la industria metalúrgica incrementó el riesgo de nuevas sensibilizaciones a metales, como cobalto.

Keywords: Cobalt; Contact dermatitis; Nickel.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cobalt / adverse effects*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metallurgy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nickel / adverse effects*

Substances

  • Cobalt
  • Nickel