NCBI ROFL: When you’re allergic to your toilet seat.

By ncbi rofl | February 6, 2013 3:00 pm

A bum deal from wooden toilet seats: reemergence of allergic contact dermatitis.

“We report a case series of 5 patients who were found to have an allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) to their wooden toilet seats. The patients presented to our contact dermatitis clinic during a 5-year period from 2005 until 2010. In each case, there was a regional eczematous eruption localized to the buttocks and posterior upper thighs with an annular configuration that matched to the shape of the patients’ toilet seats … …Microscopic examination of a toilet seat sample from one of the patients confirmed not to react to the surface varnish was undertaken. The wood had distinct growth rings and was diffuse porous, with abundant small vessels in radial multiples, small mainly opposite intervessel pitting, scalariform perforation plates with 14 to 23 bars, and uniseriate homocellular rays between 4 and 35 cells high. These characters indicated that the wood was Alnus species, alder, and reference microscope slides were a good anatomical match. This type of wooden toilet seat is available for purchase. Alnus glutinosa has been found to cause dermatitis of the face and hands in several reports, probably due to wood rather than bark exposure.2 Analysis of the remaining wooden toilet seats in our case series was not performed; these were described as pine in 2 cases, mahogany medium-density fiberboard in 1 case, and unknown in the other.”

Photo: flickr/ macaron*macaron(Est Bleu2007)

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing").Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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