Background: Children and adolescents with atopic disease who have allergic asthma and/or rhinitis with and without atopic dermatitis may have hidden, clinically relevant contact allergies.
Objective: The objective of this study was to survey contact allergies in children and adolescents who had been offered allergen-specific immunotherapy and accepted (exposed)/not accepted (unexposed) such treatment.
Methods: Thirty-seven exposed and 24 unexposed individuals with atopic disease were patch tested with a standard series supplemented with aluminum chloride hexahydrate, an empty Finn Chamber, and 8 antigen preparations.
Results: In the exposed group, 18 allergies were detected in 13 individuals with atopic disease when excluding reactions to aluminum and antigen preparations, whereas the corresponding figures for the unexposed group were 9 and 6, respectively (non–significant difference). Independent of the allergen-specific immunotherapy, significantly more (P = 0.013) individuals with atopic dermatitis had at least 1 contact allergy. Clinically relevant allergies were represented by sesquiterpene lactone mix, para–tertiary butylphenol-formaldehyde resin, tixocortol pivalate, and colophony.
Conclusions: Clinically relevant contact allergies are not uncommon in children and adolescents with atopic disease, which is why patch testing always should be considered in the management of dermatitis in individuals with atopic disease.