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An 8-Year Retrospective Review of Patch Testing with Rubber Allergens: The Mayo Clinic Experience

Bendewald, Margo J.; Farmer, Sara A.; Davis, Mark D.P.

doi: 10.2310/6620.2009.09029

Background: Allergic contact dermatitis from rubber chemicals is increasingly recognized.

Objective: To review the results of patch testing with rubber allergens from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2007.

Methods: Patients who underwent patch testing with a specialized series of rubber allergens were identified.

Results: In total, 773 patients (64.2% female; mean age, 48.6 years) were patch-tested with a rubber series (27 allergens), and 739 (95.6%) were concomitantly patch-tested with a standard allergen series. Commonly affected sites of dermatitis were the hand (49.7%), foot (15.9%), leg (12.0%), and arm (10.9%). The most common occupations were health care worker (16.3%) and homemaker (6.5%); 11.3% were retired. The rate of allergic reaction to at least one rubber allergen was 245 of 773 (31.7%). The allergens that most commonly yielded positive reactions were 4,4-dithiodimorpholine 1% (28/286 [9.8%]), thiuram mix (56/739 [7.6%]), and diphenylguanidine 1% (57/759 [7.5%]).

Conclusion: Rubber is a frequent cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Patch testing with a rubber series improved the ability to diagnose allergic contact dermatitis caused by rubber.

From the Department of Dermatology and the Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and the Mayo Medical School, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Margo J. Bendewald is a student, Mayo Medical School, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Address reprint requests to Mark D.P. Davis, MD, Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905. E-mail:

©2010American Contact Dermatitis Society, All Right Reserved
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