Little evidence exists that dyes to which individuals are patch test positive are in those garments that they suspect cause their dermatitis, which makes diagnosis and management of colored-textile allergic contact dermatitis difficult.
We determined whether disperse dyes to which a patient suspected of having a colored garment-dye contact allergy were in the garment that the patient suspected to be the cause of his or her skin lesions.
Each patient was patch-tested with 12 disperse dyes in a commercial patch test series. Disperse dyes in the submitted garment(s) were identified. The dyes to which each patient was patch test positive were compared with the dyes identified in that patient's submitted fabric(s). When a dye appeared in both lists, a correlation was found.
Twenty-two of 32 garments received contained disperse dyes. In all, 35 different disperse dyes were identified. Twelve dyes elicited a reaction in at least one patient. Only nine patients were patch test positive to at least one dye identified in the fabric submitted. Dyes appearing in both lists were Blue 106 (8 times), Blue 124 (2 times), Yellow 3 (once), and Red 1 (once).
Dyes to which a patient was patch test positive were infrequently identified in the fabric suspected to be the cause of the skin lesions, which means that the next step will be to patch-test with fabric swatches and extracts of dye from the submitted garments.