Occupational allergic contact dermatitis caused by antibiotics in healthcare workers - relationship with non-immediate drug eruptions.Contact Dermatitis 2018; 78(4):281-286CD
Occupational allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) in healthcare workers (HCWs) is common, but systemic antibiotics are rarely reported as the cause.
Characterize occupational ACD by handling systemic antibiotics.
A retrospective analysis was performed of ACD caused by systemic antibiotics among HCWs patch tested between 2010 and 2016 with a series of systemic antibiotics.
We studied 4 female nurses aged 28-47 years who developed ACD while working in surgical departments. They had eczema of the hands, and forearms or face, and 1 patient, who previously had exanthema caused by flucloxacillin, also developed a generalized rash following airborne exposure to systemic antibiotics. Patch tests showed positive reactions to ampicillin and cefazolin in 1 patient, to cefotaxime and ceftriaxone in 2 patients, and to several penicillins in another patient. Three patients also reacted to rubber allergens, fragrances, and/or preservatives. All patients admitted having direct and sporadic exposure to systemic antibiotic solutions. Avoidance resulted in a significant improvement of ACD, but 1 patient had to change job.
Occupational ACD caused by β-lactam antibiotics, particularly cephalosporins, is significant in HCWs. Cross-reactions between β-lactams are similar to those described in non-immediate drug eruptions. A relationship between systemic delayed drug hypersensitivity and ACD, as observed in one case, suggests that patients should avoid future use of the antibiotic to which they are sensitized.