Background: Patients with chronic leg ulcers typically experience contact allergy to topical treatments. Although declared as hypoallergenic, modern wound dressings have caused several reported cases of contact allergy.
Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate any allergenic potential of modern wound dressings in patients with leg ulcers.
Methods: Seventy-one patients were included in our prospective observation. Patch tests were performed with a selection of 10 modern wound dressings and with selected allergens according to series of the German Contact Dermatitis Research Group (DKG).
Results: Of 70 patients eligible for evaluation, 12 (17%) were positive for the hydrogel NuGel, followed by the hydrocolloid NuDerm (n = 7/70, 10%) and the ionic silver−containing wound dressing Aquacel Ag and the gauze Adaptic (both n = 4/70, 5%). Patients with recalcitrant ulcers of prolonged duration showed a significant higher number of epicutaneous sensitizations to wound dressings than patients with shorter ulcer duration.
Conclusions: The allergenic potential of modern wound dressings should not be underestimated. There is need for precise declaration of all ingredients.