Contact Dermatitis

  • N. Hjorth
  • J. M. Lachapelle
  • E. Schöpf
  • D. V. Belsito
Conference paper


Until recently, the rapidly occurring allergic contact urticarial eruption and the more slowly evolving allergic contact hypersensitivity reaction were thought to be distinct and to occur via entirely different mechanisms. According to the Gell and Coombs classification, contact urticaria represents a type I reaction with activation of mast cells by IgE or by the anaphylatoxins C3a or C5a of the complement cascade. In this classification, allergic contact hypersensitivity is considered to be a type IV reaction in which antigen is presented by the Langerhans cell, the antigen-presenting cell of the skin, to appropriate T cells with the resultant generation of a variety of cytokines including interleukin-1, interleukin-2, and interferon-γ, which then produce the local accumulation of specifically sensitized T cells, as well as macrophages and natural killer cells, which effect the clinical response. In the past decade, both clinical and experimental evidence has suggested that allergic contact urticaria and allergic contact hypersensitivity may represent poles of a continuous spectrum.


Mast Cell Natural Killer Cell Contact Dermatitis Patch Test Complement Cascade 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Hjorth
    • 1
  • J. M. Lachapelle
    • 2
  • E. Schöpf
    • 3
  • D. V. Belsito
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyGentofte HospitalHellerupDenmark
  2. 2.Unit and Laboratory of Occupational and Environmental Dermatology, Department of Occupational MedicineCatholic University of LouvainBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgFR Germany
  4. 4.Department of DermatologyNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations