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Lacquer contains an allergen, which can cause severe contact dermatitis. Systemic dermatitis resulting from the ingestion of lacquer is quite common in Korea, until now.
The purpose of this study is to elucidate the clinical features and laboratory findings of systemic contact dermatitis (SCD), due to the ingestion of lacquer in Chungcheongnam-do.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 33 patients with SCD, after ingestion of lacquer from Soonchunhyang University Hospital in Cheonan, over a 6-month period.
In this study, 33.3% of patients ate lacquer, as a health food, and some (15.2%) by encouragement of friends or spouse. The most common way of ingestion was the lacquer-boiled chicken (48.5%), but many also ate lacquer tree sprouts (42.4%). The skin lesions developed as erythematous maculopapular eruptions, erythema multiforme, erythroderma, purpura, wheals and vesicles. On laboratory findings, 13 patients (52%) exhibited leukocytosis and 11 patients had elevated eosinophil counts.
The general public is becoming more aware of the toxic effects of lacquer ingestion, but still does not fully understand the dangers of lacquer tree sprouts, and this ignorance is frequently causing SCD in Chungcheongnam-do.