Have a red, sore itchy rash after wearing that new bracelet? It could result from allergic contact dermatitis, a skin reaction to something - jewelry, fragrance or other substances - with which you’ve had contact.
The July issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter lists the top 10 causes of contact dermatitis that were recently identified by Mayo Clinic researchers:
Nickel, commonly found on jewelry clasps or buttons
Gold, usually worn as jewelry
Balsam of Peru, a fragrance used in skin care products and perfume
Thimerosal, a preservative used in vaccines
Neomycin sulfate, a topical antibiotic
Fragrance mix, which is comprised of eight of the most common flavorings found in various products
Formaldehyde, a preservative that can be found in paper products, paints, building materials, medications, household cleaners and fabric finishes
Cobalt chloride, a metal found in medical products, hair dye, antiperspirants, and in snaps, buttons and tools
Bacitracin, a topical antibiotic
Quaternium-15, a preservative found in skin care products and in industrial products such as paints, polishes and waxes
Skin allergy patch testing can confirm allergies to these substances.
Revision date: June 21, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD