Encyclopedia of Medical Immunology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Ian R. Mackay, Noel R. Rose, Dennis K. Ledford, Richard F. Lockey

Gold Contact Dermatitis

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9194-1_427


Adverse reactions to gold; Cutaneous reactions to gold; Eczematous contact sensitivity to gold; Eczematous contact with gold


Gold contact dermatitis may be defined as an irritant or allergic inflammatory reaction of the skin to gold.


Gold (Au) has been regarded as a relatively safe and inert material when in contact with the skin and mucosal membranes. Despite its extensive use, allergic contact dermatitis and stomatitis rarely occur.

Skin and mucosal exposure to gold happens as a result of contact with items made of pure metal, metal salts, alloys, and other compounds. However, to act as a hapten, gold must be ionized. The presence of dental gold and sensitization is statistically correlated (Möller 2010). Other sources, such as ear piercings and gold-plated cardiac stents, have also been shown to be a risk factor for gold hypersensitivity (Schalock et al. 2012).

Sources of Gold Exposure

The advantage of gold is derived from a variety of special...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Björkner B, Bruze M, Möller H, Salemark L. Allergic contact dermatitis as a complication of lid loading with gold implants. Dermatitis. 2008;19(3):148–53.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Conde-Taboada A, Rosón E, Fernández-Redondo V, García-Doval I, De la Torre C, Cruces M. Lymphomatoid contact dermatitis induced by gold earrings. Contact Dermatitis. 2007;56(3):179–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Giorgini S, Tognetti L, Zanieri F, Lotti T. Occupational airborne allergic contact dermatitis caused by gold. Dermatitis. 2010;21(5):284–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Lidén C, Bruze M, Thyssen JP, Menné T. Metals, Chapter 35. In: Johansen JD, Frosch PJ, Lepoittevin J-P, editors. Contact dermatitis. 5th ed. 2011. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, p. 642–79.Google Scholar
  5. Malinauskiene L, Isaksson M, Bruze M. Systemic contact dermatitis in a gold-allergic patient after treatment with an oral homeopathic drug. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013;68(2):e58.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mehta V, Balachandran C. Persistent nodular contact dermatitis to gold: case report of two cases. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2010;76(4):397–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Möller H. Contact allergy to gold as a model for clinical-experimental research. Contact Dermatitis. 2010;62(4):193–200.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Nedorost S, Wagman A. Positive patch-test reactions to gold: patients’ perception of relevance and the role of titanium dioxide in cosmetics. Dermatitis. 2005;16(2):67–70.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Rietschel RL, Fowlwer JF. Metals, Chapter 32. In: Rietschel RL, Fowler JF Jr, editors. Fisher’s contact dermatitis. 6th ed. 2008. Becker Inc, Hamilton, Ontario, p. 641–699.Google Scholar
  10. Russell MA, Langley M, Truett 3rd AP, King Jr LE, Boyd AS. Lichenoid dermatitis after consumption of gold-containing liquor. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997;36(5 Pt 2):841–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Schalock PC, Menné T, Johansen JD, Taylor JS, Maibach HI, Lidén C, Bruze M, Thyssen JP. Hypersensitivity reactions to metallic implants – diagnostic algorithm and suggested patch test series for clinical use. Contact Dermatitis. 2012;66(1):4–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unidad de AlergologíaComplexo Hospitalario Universitario de FerrolFerrolSpain
  2. 2.Sección de AlergologíaComplexo Hospitalario Universitario A CoruñaA CoruñaSpain