Patch testing is an important part of diagnosing allergic contact dermatitis although there is much variability in methodology among practitioners.
We surveyed members of the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) to quantify time spent with patients with contact dermatitis; to characterize patch testing practices, including the Thin-Layer Rapid Use Epicutaneous (T.R.U.E.) Test; and to assess utilization of the Contact Allergen Replacement Database (CARD).
An electronic survey was sent to all members of the ACDS.
Our survey was sent to the 600 members of the ACDS; 100 members participated (a response rate of 16.6%). Respondents used patch testing trays that contained an average of 62 allergens; 68% of respondents used the North American Contact Dermatitis Group series, and only 9% used the T.R.U.E. Test. Respondents' biggest criticism of the T.R.U.E. Test was its low number of allergens, and 94% of respondents used CARD regularly.
ACDS members used patch testing trays with many allergens. Despite the T.R.U.E. Test's popularity among general dermatologists and allergists, few ACDS members used it. Routine CARD usage should be encouraged.
From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, and the Division of Dermatology, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH.
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