European Standard Series patch test results from a contact dermatitis clinic in Israel during the 7-year period from 1998 to 2004

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The results of a 7-year retrospective study (1998–2004) from patch testing with the European Standard Series (ESS) establishing the frequency of sensitization in a contact dermatitis clinic in Israel are presented. 23 allergens were patch tested on 2156 patients, 1462 females (67.8%) and 694 males (32.2%). Atopy and asthma were present in 21.9% of the patients. One or more allergic reactions were observed in 937 patients (43.5%). The highest yield of patch test positives from the 1076 positive reactions were obtained from nickel sulfate (13.9%), fragrance mix (7.1%), potassium dichromate (3.8%), Balsam of Peru (3.6%), CL + Me-isothiazolinone (3.4%) and cobalt chloride (3.4%). Allergens which produced the least amount of positive results were primin and clioquinol. Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) was established in 32.8%, whereas occupationally related allergic (8.0) and irritant contact dermatitis (5.6%) affected a total of 13.6% of the cases studied. The most common clinical forms of dermatitis were chronic dermatitis (47.7%) followed by acute dermatitis (22.8%), and lichenification and hyperkeratosis (7.9%). The hands (30.7%), face and neck (23.9%) and extremities (11.3%) were the most frequently affected areas. Four allergens in our study differed from the top 10 allergens in Europe namely: Cl + Me-isothiazolinone, formaldehyde, 4-tert-butylphenol formaldehyde resin and sesquiterpene lactone mix reflecting an existing difference in environmental exposure. Our study is the first to provide data on the frequency of sensitization and important allergens in the aetiology of ACD in Israel. In spite of the existing differences with Europe, we conclude that ESS is an appropriate screening system for the diagnosis of ACD in Israel.

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