Contact sensitivity to cigarettes and matches

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The results of patch testing with a series containing components of cigarettes and matches were reviewed. 2 years were reviewed, 1987 and 1997. 314 patients were patch tested to this series, 203 in 1987 and 111 in 1997. 31 patients had clinically relevant positive reactions to the series, 25 in 1987 and 6 in 1997. 26 patients had relevant positive tests to cigarette components in the series. There were 14 relevant positive reactions to phosphorus sesquisulfide in 1987 and one in 1997. All patients with relevant positive reactions to red match tips also had reactions to phosphorus sesquisulfide. There was a significant association between cigarette and fragrance hypersensitivity. The eczema in 3 of 4 patients who stopped smoking improved. A series containing match heads, smoked cigarette filters and remnants of tobacco from smoked cigarettes may be useful in smokers with eczema of the face, neck or hands.

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