To the Editor.—
Allergic contact dermatitis is a rather frequently observed and sometimes disabling disorder for the affected individual, in particular in the chronic stage. Avoidance of the allergen is not always possible; in such cases the main therapeutic strategy includes corticosteroids, applied either locally or systemically, with the possibility of long-term side effects. Thus, nonsteroidal drugs influencing the effector phase of contact hypersensitivity (CHS) appear to be of benefit but are not available, at present.Recently, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) has been demonstrated to be a critical mediator in the effector phase of CHS.1 In particular, injection of TNFα antibodies before challenge abrogated the ear-swelling response in sensitized mice. Although these observations contribute to the understanding of the pathomechanisms involved, the therapeutic implications are limited, because injection of TNFα antibodies cannot be considered to be practical for the treatment of contact dermatitis.Pentoxifylline is a xanthine derivative
Schwarz T, Schwarz A, Krone C, Luger TA. Pentoxifylline Suppresses Allergic Patch Test Reactions in Humans. Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(4):513–514. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680250129026
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