Background: Allergic and irritant contact dermatitis to food is likely underreported. Objectives: To characterize relevant allergens and irritants associated with food in patients referred to the North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) for patch testing. Methods: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the NACDG from 2001 to 2004. Results: Of 10,061 patch-tested patients, 109 (1.1%) had a total of 122 reactions associated with food. Approximately two-thirds of patients (66%) were female, and one-third (36%) were atopic. The hands were the most common sites of dermatitis (36.7%). There were 78 currently relevant (definite, probable, or possible) allergic reactions to NACDG standard series allergens with a food source; the most common allergen was nickel (48.7%), followed by Myroxilon pereirae (balsam of Peru) (20.6%) and propylene glycol (6.4%). Twenty allergic reactions to non-NACDG standard allergens and 24 relevant food irritants were also identified. Overall, 21% (25 of 122) of all reactions (irritant and allergic) were occupation related; the majority of these (17 of 25) were relevant irritant reactions. Cooks were the most commonly affected occupational group (40%). Conclusions: In this limited data set, nickel, Myroxilon pereirae, and propylene glycol were the most common allergens identified with a food source. Of food-related occupational disease, irritation was more common than allergy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy