Latex: a cause of allergic contact eczema in users of natural rubber gloves.J Am Acad Dermatol 1998; 39(1):36-42JA
Latex is a common cause of contact urticaria in glove users. We recently found that 1.2% of patients attending a contact dermatitis investigation unit had delayed type hypersensitivity to latex as a cause of eczema.
We reassessed the relevant contact allergens in users of natural rubber gloves with hand dermatitis. Particular emphasis was placed on allergens not included in the standard patch test series.
Consecutive natural rubber glove users with hand dermatitis were investigated for the presence of contact dermatitis and urticaria.
One hundred seventeen consecutive patients were tested. The American standard series missed 34% and the European 40% of patients with positive patch test reactions to rubber related chemicals. Six percent of patients (20% of those with a positive reaction) demonstrated delayed type hypersensitivity to latex, often in the absence of other relevant contact allergens and contact urticaria to latex.
Latex is a relatively common cause of allergic contact eczema in the absence of contact urticaria. Latex should be included in a rubber series for screening patients with hand dermatitis who are glove users.