Etiological Contact Allergen Chemical Identification and Confirmation
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Etiological Contact Allergen Chemical Identification and Confirmation

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      Identification of the etiological chemical agent(s) associated with a case(s) of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is important for both patient management and public health surveillance. Traditional patch testing can identify chemical allergens to which the patient is allergic. Confirmation of allergen presence in the causative ACD-associated material is presently dependent on labeling information, which may not list the allergenic chemical on the product label or safety data sheet. Dermatologists have expressed concern over the lack of laboratory support for chemical allergen identification and possibly quantification from patients' ACD-associated products. The aim of this review was to provide the clinician a primer to better understand the analytical chemistry of contact allergen confirmation and unknown identification, including types of analyses, required instrumentation, identification levels of confidence decision tree, limitations, and costs.
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