Content » Vol 86, Issue 2

Clinical Report

Do Atopics Tolerate Alcohol-based Hand Rubs? A Prospective, Controlled, Randomized Double-blind Clinical Trial

Günter Kampf, Walter Wiger-Alberti and Klaus-Peter Wilhelm
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-0045


Alcohol-based hand rubs are used frequently in healthcare settings, but their tolerance among atopic subjects is unknown. The dermal tolerance to five alcohol-based hand rubs was assessed among atopic and non-atopic subjects in a repetitive occlusive patch test. In total, 54 subjects were analysed. One half of the subjects were atopic (modified Erlanger atopy score ≥ 8), the other half were non-atopic. Treatments were controlled with water and 2% sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). Treatment sites were assessed by visual inspection (tolerability score 0-4). Skin redness was determined with a chromameter. The overall mean tolerability to all five hand rubs was lower than or identical to the negative control (0.02±0.07) and significantly different from the SDS control (0.19±0.39). Skin redness was in the same range as for the negative control (0.15±0.8) which was significantly lower than the SDS control (1.35±1.6). A comparison of the atopic and non-atopic subjects revealed no significant difference. In conclusion, we found that tolerance to the five alcoholbased hand rubs was good among atopic and non-atopic subjects.


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