Persistent Skin Reactions and Aluminium Hypersensitivity Induced by Childhood Vaccines
Elaha Salik, Ida Løvik, Klaus E. Andersen, Anette Bygum
There is increasing awareness of reactions to vaccination that include persistent skin reactions. We present here a retrospective investigation of long-lasting skin reactions and aluminium hypersensitivity in children, based on medical records and questionnaires sent to the parents. In the 10-year period 2003 to 2013 we identified 47 children with persistent skin reactions caused by childhood vaccinations. Most patients had a typical presentation of persisting pruritic subcutaneous nodules. Five children had a complex diagnostic process involving paediatricians, orthopaedics and plastic surgeons. Two patients had skin biopsies performed from their skin lesions, and 2 patients had the nodules surgically removed. Forty-two children had a patch-test performed with 2% aluminium chloride hexahydrate in petrolatum and 39 of them (92%) had a positive reaction. The persistent skin reactions were treated with potent topical corticosteroids and disappeared slowly. Although we advised families to continue vaccination of their children, one-third of parents omitted or postponed further vaccinations.