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Atopic dermatitis shows no correlation with contact sensitization

02 Jul 2017

Current evidence suggests that there is no overall relationship existing between atopic dermatitis (AD) and contact sensitization.

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between AD and contact sensitization. They searched PubMed/Medline, Embase and Cochrane databases for articles that reported on contact sensitization in individuals with and without AD.

A total of 10,083 citations were found. Of these, 417 were selected based on title and abstract screening and 74 met the inclusion criteria of the study.

Pooled analysis revealed that there was no significant difference between AD and controls in contact sensitization (random effects model odds ratio [OR], 0.891; 95 percent CI, 0.771 to 1.03). A positive association existed in studies comparing AD patients with individuals from the general population (OR, 1.50; 1.23 to 1.93). There was, however, an inverse relationship when comparing with referred populations (OR, 0.753; 0.63 to 0.90).

Clinicians should then consider patch testing AD patients when allergic contact dermatitis is suspected, according to researchers.

This study has some limitations. First, articles included in the meta-analysis used different tools to diagnose AD and did not always provide information on current of past disease. Finally, patch test allergens differed between studies.

A 2012 study found that patients with severe AD and asthma have an overall lower prevalence of contact sensitization when compared with controls. On the other hand, mild-to-moderate disease did not suppress contact sensitization. Also, the prevalence of contact sensitization to fragrance chemicals was greater in patients with AD. [Allergy 2012;67:1157-64]

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