Evaluation of patch testing in patients with chronic vulvar symptoms

Australas J Dermatol. 1996 Feb;37(1):40-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-0960.1996.tb00993.x.


The Dermogynaecology Clinic was established at the Mercy Hospital for Women in 1989. Since its inception, 700 patients have been investigated and 15% were clinically diagnosed as having contact dermatitis. Primary irritant dermatitis was regarded as the common cause but to investigate the place of contact allergy 50 patients were patch tested to a standard battery, medicaments, preservatives, corticosteroids and miscellaneous allergens. Twenty-one patients (42%) had a total of 44 positive tests. The most common positive reactions were to nickel (22%), cobalt (6%), fragrances (12%), caine mix (6%) and ethylenediamine (8%). Medicaments and fragrances were regarded as important allergens. Corticosteroid and imidazole allergy was not a problem in this series of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / physiopathology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / therapy
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patch Tests*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vulvar Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Vulvar Diseases / etiology
  • Vulvar Diseases / physiopathology
  • Vulvar Diseases / therapy


  • Allergens