Frequency of positive patch tests to nickel in patients suspected of metal contact dermatitis


  • Amina Afzal
  • Shehla Shaukat
  • Mahwish Zahoor
  • Maryam Rafat
  • Danish Abbas Kazmi
  • Muhammad Nadeem


Allergic contact dermatitis, nickel, patch test


Objective To determine the frequency of positive patch tests for nickel in patients suspected of household and occupational metal contact dermatitis.Methods This was a cross-sectional analytical study carried out in the outpatient department of dermatology unit-II, Mayo Hospital, Lahore. A total of 50 patients were inducted in the study with ages 12 and above and either sex, who were suspected of metal contact dermatitis. The patients were patch tested with the allergen nickel sulphate hexahydrate 5% in petrolatum base from the European standard series.Results In this study, out of 50 patients, 62% of the patients positively tested for nickel sulphate out of which 38% of the patients showed a strong positive reaction. Only 12% showed a weak positive reaction whereas 12% patients exhibited an extreme positive reaction. Most patients were females i.e. 46 out of 50. The most commonly affected age group was 21 to 30 years. Most patients belonged to middle class. Housewives and students were most commonly affected. Most frequent symptoms encountered were itching 84%, burning 48%, redness 42% and oozing 36%. The dermatitis aggravated in most patients’ due to hyperhidrosis and wet work.Conclusion Nickel sulphate is a common allergen in patients suspected of metal contact dermatitis. Nickel contact dermatitis is a very common problem prevalent in our community and the cultural trend towards artificial jewelry predisposes our community to risk. 


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How to Cite

Afzal A, Shaukat S, Zahoor M, Rafat M, Kazmi DA, Nadeem M. Frequency of positive patch tests to nickel in patients suspected of metal contact dermatitis. J Pak Assoc Dermatol [Internet]. 2019Feb.17 [cited 2024Feb.26];28(4):462-7. Available from:



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