The North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) tests patients who have suspected allergic contact dermatitis with a broad series of screening allergens, and publishes periodic reports of its data.
To report the NACDG patch-test results from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2006, and to compare results to pooled test data from the previous 10 years.
Standardized patch testing with 65 allergens was used at 13 centers in North America. Chi-square statistics were utilized for comparisons with previous NACDG data.
NACDG patch-tested 4,454 patients; 12.3% (557) had an occupation-related skin condition, and 65.3% (2,907) had at least one allergic patch-test reaction. The 15 most frequently positive allergens were nickel sulfate (19.0%),Myroxilon pereirae(balsam of Peru, 11.9%), fragrance mix I (11.5%), quaternium-15 (10.3%), neomycin (10.0%), bacitracin (9.2%), formaldehyde (9.0%), cobalt chloride (8.4%), methyldibromoglutaronitrile/phenoxyethanol (5.8%), p-phenylenediamine (5.0%), potassium dichromate (4.8%), carba mix (3.9%), thiuram mix (3.9%), diazolidinylurea (3.7%), and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (3.4%). As compared to the 1994-2004 data, there were significant increases in rates of positivity to nickel, quaternium-15, potassium dichromate, lidocaine, and tea tree oil. Of patch-tested patients, 22.9% (1,019) had a relevant positive reaction to a supplementary allergen; 4.9% (219) had an occupationally relevant positive reaction to a supplementary allergen.
Nickel has been the most frequently positive allergen detected by the NACDG; rates significantlyincreased in the current study period and most reactions were clinically relevant. Other common allergens were topical antibiotics, preservatives, fragrance mix I and paraphenylenediamine. Testing with an expanded allergen series and supplementary allergens enhances detection of relevant positive allergens.