Occupationally Related Nickel Reactions: A Retrospective Analysis of the North American Contact Dermatitis Group Data 1998-2016

Erin M. Warshaw, Jamie P. Schlarbaum*, Joel G. Dekoven, Jonathan I. Silverberg, Kathryn A. Zug, James G. Marks, Donald V. Belsito, Toby Mathias, Margo J. Reeder, Amber R. Atwater, Howard I. Maibach, Denis Sasseville, Matthew J. Zirwas, Anthony F. Fransway, Melanie D. Pratt, Vincent A. Deleo, Joseph F. Fowler, James S. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background The epidemiology of nickel allergy in occupational settings is not well understood. Objective The aim of the study was to characterize occupationally related nickel allergy (ORNA). Methods This is a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of 44,378 patients patch tested by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group from 1998 to 2016. Characteristics of individuals with ORNA were compared with those with non-ORNA (NORNA). Results A total of 7928 (18.2%) individuals were positive to nickel sulfate 2.5%. Two hundred sixty-eight (3.4%) had ORNA. As compared with NORNA, ORNA was statistically associated with the male sex (41.0% vs 12.9%, P < 0.001), a diagnosis of irritant contact dermatitis (22.4% vs 12.0%, P < 0.001), and no history of eczema (81.7% vs 75.7%, P = 0.0217). The most common sites of ORNA dermatitis were hand (39.9%) and arm (18.1%), which were significantly more common than in NORNA (P < 0.0001). Sixteen industry categories and 22 occupation categories were identified for ORNA; the most common industries were durable goods manufacturing (24.6%) and personal services (15.7%), and the most frequent occupations were hairdressers/cosmetologists/barbers (14.3%), machine operators (9.3%), and health care workers (7.1%). Overall 30% of ORNA occupations were in metalworking. Of 215 ORNA sources identified, instruments/phones/other equipment (16.3%), vehicles/machinery (15.8%), and tools (15.3%) were the most common. Conclusions Occupational nickel allergy is distinct from nonoccupational nickel allergy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Immunology and Allergy


Dive into the research topics of 'Occupationally Related Nickel Reactions: A Retrospective Analysis of the North American Contact Dermatitis Group Data 1998-2016'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this