Contact dermatitis

The fragrance hand immersion study - an experimental model simulating real-life exposure for allergic contact dermatitis on the hands.

PMID 14531871


Recently, we showed that 10 x 2% of consecutively patch-tested hand eczema patients had a positive patch test to a selection of fragrances containing fragrances relevant to hand exposure. In this study, we used repeated skin exposure to a patch test-positive fragrance allergen in patients previously diagnosed with hand eczema to explore whether immersion of fingers in a solution with or without the patch-test-positive fragrance allergen would cause or exacerbate hand eczema on the exposed finger. The study was double blinded and randomized. All participants had a positive patch test to either hydroxycitronellal or Lyral (hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde). Each participant immersed a finger from each hand, once a day, in a solution containing the fragrance allergen or placebo. During the first 2 weeks, the concentration of fragrance allergen in the solution was low (approximately 10 p.p.m.), whilst during the following 2 weeks, the concentration was relatively high (approximately 250 p.p.m.), imitating real-life exposure to a household product like dishwashing liquid diluted in water and the undiluted product, respectively. Evaluation was made using a clinical scale and laser Doppler flow meter. 3 of 15 hand eczema patients developed eczema on the finger immersed in the fragrance-containing solution, 3 of 15 on the placebo finger and 3 of 15 on both fingers. Using this experimental exposure model simulating real-life exposure, we found no association between immersion of a finger in a solution containing fragrance and development of clinically visible eczema on the finger in 15 participants previously diagnosed with hand eczema and with a positive patch test to the fragrance in question.

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