Journal Information
Vol. 112. Issue 3.
Pages 285-287 (March 2021)
Vol. 112. Issue 3.
Pages 285-287 (March 2021)
Case and Research Letters
DOI: 10.1016/j.adengl.2021.01.009
Open Access
Allergic Contact Dermatitis Due to Slime
Dermatitis alérgica de contacto por slime
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S. Córdoba
Corresponding author
Susana.cordoba@salud.madrid.org

Corresponding author.
, M. Blanco-Calvo, A. Huerta-Vena, J. Borbujo
Servicio de Dermatología, Hospital Universitario de Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain
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To the Editor

Slime is a viscoelastic substance used as a toy that has become very popular with children in recent years. Making slime is a common experiment in school camps, play centers, and even at home. It can be made using any of the infinite number of recipes available on internet by mixing everyday products such as detergent, white glue, shaving foam, and contact lens solution.

A 10-year-old girl with no personal history of atopy consulted after experiencing 2 outbreaks of pruritic erythematous-vesicular papules during the previous year. The papules, which were on the palms and interdigital folds, became scaly (Figs. 1 and 2). The patient was treated with oral and topical corticosteroids, and her lesions resolved completely. Patch testing with the standard series of the Spanish Contact Dermatitis and Skin Allergy Research Group (GEIDAC) was positive at 48 and 96 hours for methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) with the True Test kit and for MI 0.2% in water.

Figure 1.

Erythematous scaly plaques on the palms.

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Figure 2.

Similar lesions on the sides and dorsa of the hands.

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Once the results of the test were known, the patient’s history was revisited. She reported that the lesions had appeared when making and using slime without gloves (Fig. 3). She prepared the mixture with liquid detergent (Ariel), which was found to contain MI. No lesions appeared when the recipe for slime was based on products that did not contain MCI or MI; therefore, the positive results with MCI/MI and MI were considered to be relevant.

Figure 3.

Handling slime (Source: Getty Images).

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Making slime at home is a simple experiment, although it is not risk-free. The borax that was used initially is a potent irritant that can produce chemical burns.1 Other possible recipes do not include borax, although they do contain numerous substances with a known irritant and sensitizing capacity. Since previous hand dermatitis can become worse and chronic when irritant products are handled, special care is recommended in the case of atopic children.2

The detergents, glues, contact lens solution, and shaving foam used to make slime contain fragrances, MCI/MI, and other preservatives that often produce contact dermatitis of both irritant and allergic origin.3 MCI/MI is the most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis associated with slime, although the reaction is generally due to the glue used,4 which may even be suitable for use in schools, and not to the detergent, as in the case we report. Other allergens, such as fragrance mix I, paraben mix, and quaternium-15 have been reported to be relevant.5

The present case report shows how changes in consumer habits or new uses for known allergenic or irritant substances could be the cause of new exposures and clinical manifestations, both in children and in adults. With the present case, we wish to highlight the curious source of exposure to MI, which was only identified after meticulous history taking.

References
[1]
E. Heller, A.S. Murthy, M.V. Jen.
A slime of the times: two cases of acute irritant contact dermatitis from homemade slime.
Pediatric Dermatol, 36 (2019), pp. 139-141
[2]
K.E. Kondratuk, S.A. Norton.
“Slime” dermatitis, a fad-associated chronic hand dermatitis.
Pediatric dermatol, 36 (2019), pp. e39-340
[3]
J.K. Gittler, M.C. Garzon, C.T. Lauren.
“Slime” may not be so benign; a cause of hand dermatitis.
[4]
A.J. Zhang, A.H. Boyd, A. Asch, E.M. Warshaw.
Allergic contact dermatitis to slime: The epidemic of isothiazolinone allergy encompasses school glue.
Pediatric Dermatol, 36 (2019), pp. e37-e38
[5]
A. Mainwaring, J. Zhao, R. Hunt.
Allergic contact dermatitis related to homemade slime: a case and review of the literature.
Dermatology online J, 25 (2019), pp. 11

Please cite this article as: Córdoba S, Blanco-Calvo M, Huerta-Vena A, Borbujo J. Dermatitis alérgica de contacto por slime. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2021;112:285–287.

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