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Reviews on Environmental Health

Editor-in-Chief: Carpenter, David O. / Sly, Peter

Editorial Board: Brugge, Doug / Edwards, John W. / Field, R.William / Garbisu, Carlos / Hales, Simon / Horowitz, Michal / Lawrence, Roderick / Maibach, H.I. / Shaw, Susan / Tao, Shu / Tchounwou, Paul B.

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Volume 29, Issue 3


Environmental airborne contact dermatoses

Jean-Marie Lachapelle
  • Corresponding author
  • Catholic University of Louvain Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Avenue Hippocrate, 10 B-1200 Brussels, Belgium
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-09-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2014-0054


This chapter is complementary to Chapter 4 published in the same series. Airborne contact dermatitis (ABCD) is considered a prototype in the field of environmental dermatology. It is often underestimated in most textbooks of general dermatology, despite its frequent occurrence in daily life. ABCD may be irritant, allergic, phototoxic, or photoallergic. Airborne contact urticaria is another example. A particular clinical aspect is the “head and neck dermatitis”, which occurs in atopic adult patients. Occupational ABCD represents a most difficult issue in terms of diagnostic procedures. It is obvious that non-occupational ABCD cases involve similar problems, usually easier to solve, and our comments refer to both conditions. Two examples of potentially airborne skin infections (e.g., anthrax and Ebola virus hemorrhagic fever) are also described because they are closely related to the same problematics. A new example of airborne irritant contact dermatitis, not reported so far, is linked with the use of continuous airway pressure in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Keywords: airborne contact dermatitis; continued positive airway pressure (CPAP); head and neck dermatitis; fiberglass; sprays; vapors and gasses


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About the article

Corresponding author: Prof. Jean-Marie Lachapelle, MD, PhD, Catholic University of Louvain Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Avenue Hippocrate, 10 B-1200 Brussels, Belgium, E-mail:

Received: 2014-07-28

Accepted: 2014-08-18

Published Online: 2014-09-24

Published in Print: 2014-08-01

Citation Information: Reviews on Environmental Health, Volume 29, Issue 3, Pages 221–231, ISSN (Online) 2191-0308, ISSN (Print) 0048-7554, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2014-0054.

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