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.
The aim of the study was to evaluate any allergenic potential of modern wound dressings in patients with leg ulcers.
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).
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.
The allergenic potential of modern wound dressings should not be underestimated. There is need for precise declaration of all ingredients.