Patch Test Reactions Among Patients with AD


Cristin N. Shaughnessy, BS, Dana Malajian, BA, Donald V. Belsito, MD


Patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) have chronic dry skin to which they frequently apply skin care products containing preservatives, and they are predisposed to developing cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity.


We sought to compare the rates of positive patch test reactions to allergens on the North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) standard tray among patients with and without AD and to assess whether atopic patients in our database were more likely to patch test positive to preservatives.


A total of 2453 patients underwent patch testing to the NACDG standard screening series. The incidence of positive patch test reaction among patients with AD (n = 342) and without AD (n = 2111) was assessed. Statistical analysis was done using a χ2test.


Compared with nonatopic patients, patients with AD were statistically more likely to have positive patch tests. AD was associated with contact hypersensitivity to quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol but not to parabens, formaldehyde, or diazolidinyl urea.


Only patients suspected of having allergic contact dermatitis were tested. Our population was geographically limited to metropolitan Kansas City, MO, and metropolitan New York City, NY.


Patients with AD should avoid the use of skin care products preserved with formaldehyde releasers.