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June 1961

Eczematous Contact-Sensitivity to Gold

Author Affiliations


Department of Dermatology (Dr. Fox and Dr. Rostenberg), Department of Medicine (Dr. Kennedy), University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(6):956-959. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580120068016

Reports of cutaneous reactions to gold compounds given systemically are frequent,1,2,3 but reports of contact dermatitis from metallic gold or its salts are rare. Schwartz4 states the metal is nontoxic, but dermatitis occurs from other sources in chemically treating gold. Gold chloride is said to cause dermatitis among photographers who use it in their work. Chenoweth5 reported a dermatitis of the hands and forearms in a 45-year-old woman associated with the wearing of an 18-carat gold ring and watch. The dermatitis cleared when she stopped wearing the watch and ring. No patch testing was done to show that it was the gold in the ring to which she was reacting.

Forster6 reported a case showing sensitivity to a 14-carat gold ball, which 5 years previously had been implanted into Tenon's capsule. Sensitivity was manifested by a recurrent seropurulent orbital discharge and an eczematous contact-type dermatitis of