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February 1988

Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Gold

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Louisville School of Medicine 310 E Broadway Louisville, KY 40292

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(2):181-182. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670020013006

To the Editor.—  Gold is an inert metal, rarely implicated as a contact allergen. Although allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) to gold is much less common than ACD to nickel or cobalt, it must be considered in certain cases, especially in jewelry dermatitis.The following case reports of two patients seen less than six months apart illustrate the clinical features and necessary investigations of ACD to gold.

Report of Cases.—Case 1.—  A 34-year-old woman had a four-year history of eczema occurring primarily in areas of metal contact. The most severely affected areas were the earlobes. She had worn pierced earrings for many years, but once her dermatitis began she was unable to wear even "expensive" 14-carat gold. She was also unable to wear gold necklaces or her wedding ring.Examination revealed chronic eczema on the left ring finger and lower earlobes. Patch testing was performed and read at

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