Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Patch-Test Reactions to Essential Oils Evaluated

Dermatitis; ePub 2017 Jun 13; Warshaw, et al

Testing to essential oils (EOs) may be important for detecting allergic sensitivity not detected by fragrance markers (FMs) alone, according to a recent study. This study used a retrospective analysis of patch-test results and relevant demographic/clinical data collected electronically. Researchers found:

  • Overall, 62,354 patients were tested to 3 FMs and EOs; 11,568 (18.6%) reacted to at least 1 FM or EO, whereas 857 (1.4%) reacted to 1 or more EOs but none of the 3 FMs.
  • For both the US/Canadian and Central European groups, individuals who were positive to 1 or more of the 9 study allergens were significantly less likely to be male, have occupational skin disease, or have hand involvement and significantly more likely to have leg dermatitis and be ≥40 years.
  • Of the 140 US/Canadian patients who reacted to 1 or more of the 5 EOs but none of the FMs, M. alternifolia yielded most positive reactions (45%); half of these reactions were strong and of definite/probable clinical relevance (52.4%).

Warshaw EM, Zug KA, Belsito DV, et al. Positive patch-test reactions to essential oils in consecutive patients: Results from North America and Central Europe. [Published online ahead of print June 13, 2017]. Dermatitis. doi:10.1097/DER.0000000000000293.

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