Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug : official journal of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, North American Contact Dermatitis Group vol:15 issue:3 pages:131-6
BACKGROUND: In women with vulval complaints, irritant contact dermatitis is more common than allergic contact dermatitis, but secondary sensitization has to be taken into consideration since these patients often use several topical medications. OBJECTIVE: The aims of this retrospective study were to establish the prevalence of allergic contact dermatitis in patients with vulval complaints and to verify how many patients with allergic contact dermatitis suffered from a previous pathology. METHODS: We reviewed patch- and prick-test results from 92 women. The women had all been administered the European Standard series, and most had also been tested for other allergens such as the ingredients of topical pharmaceutical products and cosmetics. RESULTS: Thirty-five patients (38%) presented with one or more positive allergic reactions. For 15 of the patients, these reactions were considered to be relevant to their clinical condition and were most often due to contact dermatitis from topical pharmaceutical products. Three patients presented with positive and relevant contact urticaria syndrome from latex, and two patients presented with protein contact dermatitis from human seminal plasma. CONCLUSION: Patients with vulval dermatitis are at risk of developing contact sensitivities, particularly to topical pharmaceutical products; therefore, attention should be paid to this problem when such products are prescribed.