Contact urticaria syndrome: Occupational aspects

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The term contact urticaria syndrome (CUS), also known as immediate contact skin reactions (ICSR), was defined as a biological entity in 1975 (Maibach and Johnson 1975). It is characterized by a heterogeneous group of inflammatory reactions that appear within minutes after cutaneous or mucosal contact with the eliciting agent and usually disappear within a few hours - although delayed-onset reactions are sometimes observed. The actual prevalence of these reactions is not well determined. Nonetheless, numerous cases of CUS continue to be reported, and the list of etiologic agents continues to increase, providing evidence for the high frequency of these entities (Ale and Maibach 2000a; Amin et al. 1997; Burdick and Mathias 1985; Harvell et al. 1992; Lahti and Maibach 1987, 1991). A multitude of substances ranging from simple chemicals to macromolecules has been reported, but its pathogenetic mechanism still remains a challenge.

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