Aim: Allergic contact dermatitis is a prevalent occupational skin condition which can affect all members of the dental team. This article aims to review allergic contact dermatitis in dentistry.
Material and methods: This review highlights the burden of allergic contact dermatitis for dental professionals, discusses its cellular mechanism, clinical features, the most common causative agents in dentistry and treatment options.
Results: There are two main types of contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis accounts for 20% of reported contact dermatitis cases whilst the remainder are due to irritant contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis is a type IV hypersensitivity reaction which affects 22-43% of dental professionals globally. There is limited literature on the impact of this condition on dental healthcare professionals. Moreover, with the increased and prolonged used of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to prevent occupational transmission of SARS-CoV-2, more healthcare professionals are presenting with allergic contact dermatitis against their PPE.
Conclusions: ACD is a prevalent occupational skin condition which can affect all members of the dental team, especially with the increased use of PPE due to COVID-19. Dental professionals with signs and symptoms should seek relevant advice and reduce exposure to known allergens.