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To the Editor.—
With changes in fashion, contact allergens have reappeared in new and unsuspected forms. We report two cases of eczematous eruptions on the sides of the neck caused by hooped, nickel earrings. In neither case were the ears involved and in neither case did the patient suspect her earrings as the cause of the eruption (Fig 1 to 3).Patch testing revealed both patients to be highly allergic to nickel. The earrings of the two patients were tested with 1% dimethylglyoxime solution to demonstrate presence of nickel. In each case the post (which holds the earring in place and is in contact with the ear) gave a negative reaction for nickel, while the hoop (which is in contact with the neck) gave a strongly positive reaction (Fig 4). The absence of nickel in the post of the earring explains why the eruption spared the ears.Allergic contact dermatitis
Shore RN, Berger BJ. Earring Dermatitis Sparing the Ears. Arch Dermatol. 1974;109(1):95. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630010067018