Patch testing with markers of fragrance contact allergy. Do clinical tests correspond to patients' self-reported problems?
Johansen JD, Andersen TF, Veien N, Avnstorp C, Andersen KE, Menné T.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between patients' own recognition of skin problems using consumer products and the results of patch testing with markers of fragrance sensitization. Eight hundred and eighty-four consecutive eczema patients, 18-69 years of age, filled in a questionnaire prior to patch testing with the European standard series. The questionnaire contained questions about skin symptoms from the use of scented and unscented products as well as skin reactions from contact with spices, flowers and citrus fruits that could indicate fragrance sensitivity. A highly significant association was found between reporting a history of visible skin symptoms from using scented products and a positive patch test to the fragrance mix, whereas no such relationship could be established to the Peru balsam in univariate or multivariate analysis. Our results suggest that the role of Peru balsam in detecting relevant fragrance contact allergy is limited, while most fragrance mix-positive patients are aware that the use of scented products may cause skin problems.