North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch-test results, 2003-2004 study period

Erin M. Warshaw, Donald V. Belsito, Vincent A. DeLeo, Joseph F. Fowler, Howard I. Maibach, James G. Marks, C. G.Toby Mathias, Melanie D. Pratt, Robert L. Rietschel, Denis Sasseville, Frances J. Storrs, James S. Taylor, Kathryn A. Zug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Background: Allergic contact dermatitis is a significant cause of both occupational and non-occupational skin disease. Patch testing is an important diagnostic tool for the determination of responsible allergens. Objective: This study reports the results of patch testing by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group from January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2004. Methods: At 13 centers in North America, patients were tested with the same screening series of 65 allergens, with a standardized patch-testing technique. Data were recorded on standardized forms and manually verified and entered. Descriptive frequencies were calculated, and trends were analyzed with chi-square statistics. Results: A total of 5,148 patients were tested. Of these, 3,432 (66.7%) had at least one positive reaction, 2,284 (44.4%) were ultimately determined to have primary allergic contact dermatitis, and 676 (13.1%) had occupation-related skin disease. There were 9,762 positive allergic reactions. Compared to the previous reporting period (2001-2002), allergies to nickel, budesonide, mercaptobenzothiazole, and paraben mix were at least 1.12 times more common (all p values < .03). Compared with the previous 8 years (1994-2002), only the prevalence rates of allergies to nickel and budesonide were statistically significantly higher (p values < .003). Conclusion: Allergic contact dermatitis from nickel and budesonide may be increasing in North America. These results again underscore the value of patch-testing with many allergens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Dermatology


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