Smoking is associated with combined allergic and irritant hand eczema, contact allergies and hyperhidrosis

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Abstract

Background

The pathogenesis of chronic hand eczema (CHE) is multifactorial. Certain life-style factors have been suggested as potential triggers of the disease, among them tobacco smoking. However, the few studies addressing the influence of smoking on CHE have been more or less limited to occupational hand eczema.

Objective

The aim of our study was to investigate the association of smoking status with clinical features like contact sensitization, irritant exposure, atopy and hyperhidrosis in a thoroughly characterized cohort of CHE patients.

Methods

A total of 153 patients with CHE underwent clinical examination and an interview about their history and course of disease.

Results

Significantly more smokers suffered from combined allergic and irritant hand eczema (25/86) than non-smokers (7/67; P < 0.05). Nickel sensitization and palmar hyperhidrosis tended to be more frequent among smokers than among non-smokers (nickel: 17/86 smokers, 6/67 non-smokers; hyperhidrosis: 21/84 smokers, 8/64 non-smokers). Among the smoking CHE patients with palmar hyperhidrosis, a significant proportion had contact allergies relevant contact allergies (16/21, P < 0.05).

Conclusion

Our results reveal a predominance of smokers among patients with combined allergic and irritant hand eczema as well as with hyperhidrosis and relevant contact sensitizations.

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