Korean J Dermatol.  2021 Jun;59(5):363-369.

Clinical Features and Risk Factors of Pigmented Contact Dermatitis: A Comparative Analysis of Pigmented Contact Dermatitis and Allergic Contact Dermatitis

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea


Pigmented contact dermatitis (PCD) is a non-eczematous contact dermatitis characterized by hyperpigmentation with few or no signs of dermatitis. The pathomechanism of PCD is still unknown; there are few case reports of PCD caused by hair dye, henna, and cosmetics.
This study aimed to analyze the clinical features and the significance of risk factors in adult Korean patients with PCD.
We retrospectively reviewed 75 patients with PCD. Clinical features including age, sex, duration, location, and risk factors were obtained from electronic medical records. To determine the significance of the risk factors of PCD, we compared these patients with 155 patients diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) without hyperpigmentation.
The mean age of onset of PCD in patients was 55.5 years, and the male:female ratio was 1:14. The mean duration of PCD was 16.3 months. The number of patients with PCD who had histories of hair dye use (n=67, 89.3%) and health supplement consumption (n=18, 24.0%) was significantly higher than that of patients with ACD. There were no significant differences in medication, cosmetic changes, stress history, results of patch test, patch testing with the patient’s own products, immunoglobulin E (kU/L), and eosinophils (cells/μL).
This study analyzed the clinical features and risk factors of PCD and ACD in adult Korean patients, and it suggests that PCD may be caused by irritation induced by variable factors and not allergic reactions.


Contact dermatitis; Patch tests; Pigmentation
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