Immediate Test Reactions in Hand Eczema
Introduction: Hand eczema is a multifactorial disease that can include manifestations of atopic dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis (mediated mainly by T cells) and/or immediate reactions such as contact urticaria or protein contact dermatitis (mediated or not by IgE). The study aim was the characterization of patients with hand eczema who reported immediate symptoms with the handling of suspected triggers.
Material and Methods: Retrospective analysis of medical records of patients from the Dermatology Department with hand eczema who performed patch tests (baseline and complementary series according to the clinical history) and skin prick test whenever patients presented immediate symptoms with suspected triggers. Skin prick test results were correlated with specific and total IgE.
Results: A total of 52 patients were evaluated (49F/3M), mean age: 33.4 ± 9.9 years, 25 (48.1%) with a personal history of atopy (nine with atopic dermatitis). Besides hand eczema, considered occupational in 33 patients (63.5%), dermatitis also involved the face in six (11.5%). We found positive patch tests in 31 patients (59.6%), mainly to nickel (45.2%). Skin prick test were positive in 28 patients (53.8%), mainly for latex (10, 35.7%) and kiwi (8, 28.6%). There was no statistically significant correlation between positive skin prick test and the presence of atopy or high total serum IgE.
Conclusion: Although the study included a limited number of patients with hand eczema and we only performed skin prick test in those with complaints, we observed immediate reactions in a very significant proportion of patients (53.8%), mainly in the atopic group. Specific IgE was not useful for the diagnosis, compared to the skin prick test. Immediate mechanisms, not directly dependent on T cells, may be significantly involved in the pathogenesis of hand eczema, so immediate tests should be added more often to patch tests in the study of hand eczema.
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