Cross-reaction patterns in patients with contact allergy to simple methylol phenols

Contact Dermatitis. 1997 Aug;37(2):82-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1997.tb00044.x.


The low-molecular-weight phenols 2-methylol phenol (2-MP), 4-methylol phenol (4-MP), 2,4,6-trimethylol phenol (2,4,6-MP), 3-methylol phenol (3-MP), 2,4-dimethylol phenol (2,4-MP), and 2,6-dimethylol phenol (2,6-MP) are contact sensitizers in resins based on phenol and formaldehyde (P-F-R). Other chemically related low-molecular-weight phenols are common in the environment. In patients hypersensitive to P-F-R and MPs, it is for diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive reasons necessary to know their cross-reaction patterns, which this study was therefore designed to investigate. In patients with contact allergy to a P-F-R and at least 1 MP, additional patch testing was performed with 6 MPs and 13 chemically related compounds. The 19 substances were tested at equimolar concentrations and in serial dilutions. Investigations by high-performance liquid chromatography were carried out to exclude contamination as the cause of the patch test reactions. Probable cross-reacting substances were o-cresol, p-cresol, salicylaldehyde, 2,4-dimethyl phenol, and 2,6-dimethyl phenol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Benzyl Alcohols / chemistry
  • Benzyl Alcohols / immunology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cross Reactions*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Patch Tests


  • Allergens
  • Benzyl Alcohols