Contact allergic dermatitis. Old problems and new techniques

P. R. Bergstresser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The problem of contact allergic dermatitis in humans and contact hypersensitivity in laboratory animals begins with the observation that certain reactive compounds, when placed on skin, lead to a reproducible and characteristic inflammatory reaction. The immunologic processes that conspire to produce this damaging tissue reaction are derived from the normal immunologic balance between a protection of self and a destruction of nonself. Experimental work in the last decade has focused on the role of antigen-presenting cells, and specifically Langerhans' cells, in its initiation, as well as on the competing roles of subsets of T lymphocytes in its regulation. For humans, and important goal has been the development of techniques of which tolerization and desensitization may be achieved, and those who work with laboratory animals, contact hypersensitivity has provided methods to examine immunoregulation in general. In the coming decade new techniques from molecular biology, molecular genetics, tissue culture, and, above all, shrewed clinical observation will provide a new array of ideas and possibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-279
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

Cite this