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Contact Dermatitis. 2017 Jun;76(6):333-341. doi: 10.1111/cod.12747. Epub 2017 Jan 25.

Experimental patch testing with chromium-coated materials.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergy, National Allergy Research Centre, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, 2900, Hellerup, Denmark.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Materials and Surface Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, 2800, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.
Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, 2900, Hellerup, Denmark.



Chromium coatings on metal alloys can be decorative, and prevent corrosion and metal ion release. We recently showed that handling of a chromium-containing disc resulted in chromium deposition on the skin.


To examine patch test reactivity to chromium-coated discs.


We included 15 patients: 10 chromium-allergic patients, and 5 patients without chromium allergy. All were patch tested with potassium dichromate, cobalt chloride, nickel sulfate, and nine different metallic discs. The chromium-allergic patients were also patch tested with serial dilutions of potassium dichromate.


Positive/weaker reactions were observed to disc B (1 of 10), disc C (1 of 10), and disc D, disc E, and disc I (4 of 10 each). As no controls reacted to any of the discs, the weak reactions indicate allergic reactions. Positive patch test reactions to 1770 ppm chromium(VI) in the serial dilutions of potassium dichromate were observed in 7 of 10 patients. When the case group was narrowed down to include only the patients with a current positive patch test reaction to potassium dichromate, elicitation of dermatitis by both chromium(III) and chromium(VI) discs was observed in 4 of 7 of patients.


Many of the patients reacted to both chromium(III) and chromium(VI) surfaces. Our results indicate that both chromium(VI) and chromium(III) pose a risk to chromium-allergic patients.


allergic chromium dermatitis; allergy; chromium; dermatitis; leather; metals; potassium dichromate

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