Contact sensitization in Dutch children and adolescents with and without atopic dermatitis - a retrospective analysis

Contact Dermatitis. 2017 Mar;76(3):151-159. doi: 10.1111/cod.12711. Epub 2016 Nov 11.


Background: Allergic contact dermatitis is known to occur in children with and without atopic dermatitis, but more data are needed on contact sensitization profiles in these two groups.

Objectives: To identify frequent allergens in children with and without atopic dermatitis suspected of having allergic contact dermatitis.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of children aged 0-17 years patch tested between 1996 and 2013 was performed.

Results: Of all 1012 children tested because of suspected contact dermatitis, 46% developed one or more positive reactions, the proportions for children with (n = 526) and without (n = 395) atopic dermatitis being 48% and 47%, respectively. Children with atopic dermatitis reacted more often to lanolin alcohol (30% pet., p = 0.030), Amerchol L-101 (p = 0.030), and fragrances [fragrance mix I (p = 0.048) and Myroxylon pereirae (p = 0.005)]. Allergens outside the European baseline series that frequently gave positive reactions in these groups included cocamidopropyl betaine and Amerchol L-101. Reactivity to these allergens was significantly more common in atopic dermatitis children.

Conclusion: Sensitization prevalences in children with and without atopic dermatitis were similar, but children with atopic dermatitis reacted significantly more often to lanolin alcohol and fragrances. Testing with additional series besides the European baseline series may be necessary, as reactions to, for example, cocamidopropyl betaine and Amerchol L-101 may otherwise be missed.

Keywords: allergic contact dermatitis; atopic dermatitis; children; contact allergy; contact dermatitis; delayed-type hypersensitivity; patch testing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Patch Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment


  • Allergens