The British Contact Dermatitis Group held its inaugural meeting prior to the BAD in Oxford in 1980. At its initiation it was felt that this should be a group with both medical and scientific members and that it would act as a forum for all who are interested in contact dermatitis. Dr Richard Rycroft was the first president and Dr John Wilkinson secretary. An early decision was to request affiliation with the BAD as was the idea of regional representation to form the committee. As £240.00 had been donated to the group, a bank account and treasurer (Dr Veronica Kirton) were necessary.

Initial plans were to hold committee meetings every 3 months and an annual meeting. A policy which continues is that of holding a symposium with a theme and then having a programme of short communications. For these there has always been great enthusiasm and one meeting is remembered lasting well into the evening! The meeting initially was prior to the BAD. It then became part of the BAD annual meeting but this meant that the whole day symposium had to be shortened to a half day.  In the early years the group as it was then known had a full day meeting with invited speakers in the morning and short communications after lunch. The short communications have always been brief allowing a single meeting to cover a wide range of problems. Today abstracts are received and a programme devised so 5 hour sessions with no tea break have become a thing of the past!

From its early meetings the aims of the group were to promote research and education as far as contact dermatitis is concerned and also to set standards for the investigation of patients.

The group became a society in 2002 and was renamed as the British Society for Cutaneous Allergy in 2010.

Sheila Powell