ESCD was founded in 1988 in Heidelberg Germany by members of the European Environmental and Contact Dermatitis Research Group (EECDRG). The purpose of the ESCD is to promote interest, stimulate research, and disseminate information on all aspects of contact dermatitis and other environmental and occupational skin diseases. The official publication of the ESCD, although not owned by the ESCD, is the journal Contact Dermatitis (CD) in which research results and information are published.
ESCD arranges a congress every other year. The first one was held in Brussels Belgium in 1992. The venue for the 13th congress will be Manchester, England which will be September 2016. Pleasantly, EAACI is also arranging a session at the congress.
Educational activities are organized annually, usually by ESCD or in cooperation with other societies. The Skin Allergy Meeting (SAM) to be held in Zurich, Switzerland in April 2017 is an example of such collaboration. Two courses on Contact Dermatitis have been organized by ESCD in collaboration with the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) in Malmö, Sweden in 2015 and 2016. A third course on Contact Dermatitis will be arranged in Malmö in June 2017 together with EADV. Aside from collaboration with EAACI and EADV, ESCD has also collaboration with the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) which resulted in a one-day meeting at the World Dermatology Congress in Vancouver, Canada in June 2015. ESCD alone arranged 2 courses in Malmö on Occupational Dermatology in November 2015 and Chemistry in May 2016.
In the 1990s ESCD took over from EECDRG the responsibility for the European baseline patch test series. A guideline for diagnostic patch testing was published in 2015 (CD 2015:73:195-221). Within the last few years 2 new petrolatum preparations with contact sensitizers have been included in the baseline series, methylisothiazolinone (CD 2013:69:263-70) and a textile dye mix (CD 2015:73:15-20). For 2 sensitizers already present in the baseline series, the concentrations have been doubled, formaldehyde (CD 2013:69:372-4) and methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (CD 2014:71:35-40).
A major task for ESCD is to enable an improved prevention of occupational and environmental skin diseases. One of the ways in which the ESCD does this is by providing information and opinions to European authorities when new legislative measures are proposed.