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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 72  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113--118

Disulfiram and low nickel diet in the management of hand eczema: A clinical study

Bongaigaon, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashimav Deb Sharma
MM Singha Road, Bongaigaon 783 380, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.25635

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Background: Hand eczema due to nickel sensitivity is a challenging task for the dermatologist. The average human diet provides sufficient amount of nickel, which acts as a provocating factor in nickel-sensitive individuals. When such patients are treated with steroid or other immunosuppressives, only short-term remission is obtained. This is because unless the dietary intake of nickel is minimized and the existing amount of nickel in the body of the sensitized individual is depleted, long-term remission is unlikely. Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of oral disulfiram, a nickel-chelating agent and low nickel diet (LND) in reducing the clinical symptoms and preventing frequent relapse of hand eczema in nickel-sensitive individuals. Methods: A total of 21 patients with chronic vesicular hand eczema with nickel sensitivity were taken for this study. Patients were randomly divided into two groups: (a) Study group consisting of 11 patients (8 females and 3 males). They were prescribed disulfiram orally for a period of 4 weeks; they started LND 2 weeks prior to initiation of disulfiram therapy and continued till the end of follow-up period. (b) Control (placebo) group consisting of 10 patients (7 females and 3 males). They were allowed to continue with normal diet. Each of them received lactose tablet daily as placebo for 4 weeks. It was a comparative study and participants were not aware if they belonged to study group or control group (single blind trial). Results: Hand eczema healed completely in 10 (90.9%) out of 11 patients treated with disulfiram and LND during the treatment period in the study group, compared with 1 out 10 patients in control (placebo) group (non significant). Mild relapse was noted in 5 patients in between 2-12 weeks of follow-up period. Conclusion: Low nickel diet and short course of oral disulfiram therapy can be considered a good option for the control of chronic hand eczema in nickel-sensitive individuals.


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Online since 15th March '04
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