Allergic contact dermatitis to synthetic rubber gloves: Changing trends in patch test reactions to accelerators

Lauren Y. Cao, James S. Taylor, Apra Sood, Debora Murray, Paul D. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background: Rubber gloves are one of the most frequent causes of occupational allergic contact dermatitis, especially in health care workers. Observations: We describe 23 patients with allergic contact dermatitis due to rubber accelerators in rubber gloves, some with disseminated dermatitis, treated during a 2-year period. Three had IgE-mediated latex allergies. Sixteen were health care workers from a single institution whose dermatitis was temporally related to the switch to latex-safe gloves. Each had positive patch test reactions to 1 or more rubber accelerators, including carbamates, thiurams, 2-mercaptobenzothiazole, and 1,3-diphenylguanidine. Chemical analysis of 6 glove samples identified 2-mercaptobenzothiazole in 4 and zinc diethyldithiocarbamate in 1. There were discordances between patch test results for glove chemicals and glove swatches and between available information on chemicals used during glove production and chemicals detected during glove analysis. Although these factors may complicate the search for culprit and alternative gloves, dermatitis cleared in each of 9 patients with follow-up data and for whom alternative gloves were provided based on published information of glove composition. Conclusions: Allergic contact dermatitis due to synthetic rubber gloves occurs even with the use of latex-safe products. More knowledge about chemicals present in these gloves, to which the skin is exposed during use, is necessary to prevent and treat allergic contact dermatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1007
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Dermatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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