Background: The North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) tests patients with suspected allergic contact dermatitis to a broad series of screening allergens and publishes periodic reports.
Objective: The aims of this study were to report the NACDG patch-testing results from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2008, and to compare results to pooled test data from the previous 2 and 10 years to analyze trends in allergen sensitivity.
Methods and materials: Standardized patch testing with 65 allergens was used at 13 centers in North America. χ analysis was used for comparisons.
Results: A total of 5085 patients were tested; 11.8% (598) had an occupationally related skin condition, and 65.3% (3319) had at least 1 allergic patch test reaction, which is identical to the NACDG data from 2005 to 2006. The top 15 most frequently positive allergens were nickel sulfate (19.5%), Myroxylon pereirae (11.0%), neomycin (10.1%), fragrance mix I (9.4%), quaternium-15 (8.6%), cobalt chloride (8.4%), bacitracin (7.9%), formaldehyde (7.7%), methyldibromoglutaronitrile/phenoxyethanol (5.5%), p-phenylenediamine (5.3%), propolis (4.9%), carba mix (4.5%), potassium dichromate (4.1%), fragrance mix II (3.6%), and methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (3.6%). There were significant increases in positivity rates to nickel, methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone, and benzophenone-3. During the same period of study, there were significant decreases in positivity rates to neomycin, fragrance mix I, formaldehyde, thiuram mix, cinnamic aldehyde, propylene glycol, epoxy resin, diazolidinyl urea, amidoamine, ethylenediamine, benzocaine, p-tert-butylphenol formaldehyde resin, dimethylol dimethyl hydantoin, cocamidopropyl betaine, glutaraldehyde, mercaptobenzothiazole, tosylamide formaldehyde resin, budesonide, disperse blue 106, mercapto mix, and chloroxylenol. Twenty-four percent (1221) had a relevant positive reaction to a non-NACDG supplementary allergen; and 180 of these reactions were occupationally relevant.
Conclusions: Periodic analysis, surveillance, and publication of multicenter study data sets document trends in allergen reactivity incidence assessed in the patch test clinic setting and provide information on new allergens of relevance.