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Abstract  Contact hypersensitivity plays an important role in initiation as well as persistence and aggravation in most cases of hand eczema. Currently patch testing is a definitive investigative tool to confirm or rule out contact hypersensitivity. A study was conducted at dermatological opd at a tertiary care clinic in Rajasthan (India). Hundred patients (59 males- 41 females) of hand eczema were tested with Indian standard series of patch testing, expanded with allergens consisting of allergens prepared from extracts of onions, garlic, soaps and detergents. The patients included were unskilled workers (53%), housewives (19%), skilled workers (10%), students and people engaged in white collar jobs – 9% by occupation. The frequent sensitizers were found to be potassium dichromate (28%), Nickel sulphate (25%), vegetables (10%), topical medicaments (7%), parthenium (6%), soap and detergents (5%), fragrance mix (4%) and paraben mix (3%). In majority of the cases substances coming in contact during occupational work were the cause of hand eczema.

Key words: Allergens, hand eczema, contact dermatitis, contact hypersensitivity, patch test



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