oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Surgical mask contact dermatitis and epidemiology of contact dermatitis in healthcare workers - allergies in the workplace

Volume 30 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Although contact dermatitis in healthcare workers is common, there are very few case reports about surgical mask dermatitis. Contact dermatitis due to N95 masks during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic has been documented in a few studies. It has been attributed to free formaldehyde which was confirmed to be present in certain types of N95 mask. None of the cases studied was found to be related to dibromodicyanobutane, which is found predominantly as a preservative in detergents used in the healthcare environment. In this article a case is presented to illustrate important aspects of contact dermatitis in healthcare workers, particularly surgical face-mask contact dermatitis. The article further explores dibromodicyanobutane as a known cause of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).

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