Study: Toilet-seat dermatitis often misdiagnosed

February 2, 2010

Baltimore - Toilet-seat contact dermatitis is once again afflicting American children - and the rare condition is often misdiagnosed, causing delay in proper treatment, news source MedPage Today reports.

Baltimore

- Toilet-seat contact dermatitis is once again afflicting American children - and the rare condition is often misdiagnosed, causing delay in proper treatment, news source MedPage Today reports.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reached this conclusion after investigating five cases. A report of their study appears in the Jan. 25 issue of Pediatrics.

Investigators say that while toilet-seat dermatitis is thought to result from allergies to wooden seats, plastic toilet seats cleaned with harsh detergents can also cause the condition.

MedPage Today quotes lead author Bernard A. Cohen, M.D., as saying, “This case series and previous reports have documented that toilet-seat dermatitis is much more common than previously recognized in the U.S. and around the world.

“Furthermore, the incidence of this condition is rising in North America because of a resurgent popularity of exotic-wood toilet seats and frequent use of detergents that contain highly irritant (or) sensitizing compounds such as quaternary ammonium compounds, phenol, formaldehyde, etc., in public restrooms.”

Of the cases analyzed, two occurred in the United States and the others in India. One of the U.S. cases involved a 6-year-old who experienced a rash for more than two years before it was correctly diagnosed. Once the correct diagnoses were made, patients were instructed to use toilet-seat covers and apply moisturizers and topical steroids to the affected areas. The condition cleared within a few weeks.

The authors also advise replacing the household toilet seat and limiting time on the toilet.

Related Content:

News