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June 1977

Contact Dermatitis Caused by ECG Electrode Jelly

Author Affiliations

From the Dermatology Department, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit.

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(6):839-840. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640060135022

A 4-year-old boy was seen because of contact dermatitis that resulted from the use of an ECG electrode jelly (Cambridge). Patch tests proved that gum tragacanth in the jelly was responsible for the eruption. This agent is found in many different products, including foods, troches, cosmetics, toothpastes, and textile sizings.

Report of Case  A 4-year-old boy was seen on March 23, 1976 because of persistent dermatitis on his chest and extremities. He had developed the eruption two months previously, shortly after an ECG had been taken. The eruption was confined to the areas where the electrode jelly had been used for contact between the skin and the electrodes.A diagnosis of contact dermatitis was made. The eruption resolved after topical treatment with steroids. Patch tests were performed, and the patient was found to be allergic to the electrode jelly and one of its constituents, gum tragacanth (Table). The commercially prepared

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