Management of allergic contact dermatitis can be challenging for patients because of difficulties they encounter while attempting to avoid antigens identified by patch tests. The disorder is commonly caused by fragrances, preservatives, or other ingredients found in skin care products. After patch testing, the clinician routinely educates the patient on the sources of the antigens to which he or she is sensitive. Because typical allergen names are long, are difficult to spell, commonly have numerous complex synonyms, and are often frankly intimidating for patients, compliance with allergen avoidance is frequently problematic. We have developed a Contact Allergen Avoidance Program database tool that generates an extensive list of skin care products that are free of the given patient's allergens. It has been used clinically for 2 years to facilitate successful antigen avoidance and has been positively received by both patients and clinicians. Copyright (C) 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company.
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