Pediatric patch testing: A 10-year retrospective study

Mona Ascha, Mahwish Irfan, James Bena, James S. Taylor, Apra Sood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background Patch testing is the gold standard for diagnosing allergic contact dermatitis in children. Objective To present a 10-year retrospective review of pediatric patch testing at our institution. Methods Data from patients 18 years or younger who presented for patch testing from February 1, 2005, to May 31, 2015, were entered into a database. Patch testing was performed according to North American Contact Dermatitis Group standards. A positive reaction was defined as any allergen for which the patient had a 1+ or greater reaction and provided avoidance information. Results A total of 157 patients with a mean (SD) age of 12.3 (4.1) years were evaluated. The 2 most frequent allergens were nickel and cobalt. Most patients were referred by dermatologists for suspected allergic contact dermatitis (72.3%). Dermatitis was present for more than 2 years in most cases (n = 67 [46.2%]), from 6 months to 2 years (n = 49 [33.8%]), and for less than 6 months (n = 29 [20.0%]). Males were more likely to have a positive reaction to fragrance mix 1 compared with females (P = .02). No significant association was found between age and allergen sensitivity. Those with a history of atopy were more likely to have a positive reaction to cobalt (P = .008) and chromium (P = .03). Sixty patients (38.2%) returned for follow-up, and 37 (60.7%) reported improvement; most (n = 54 [88.5%]) were being treated with topical corticosteroids. Conclusion Our study of pediatric patch testing can provide information regarding common allergens in children, which can enhance patient care. Primary care practitioners may benefit from awareness of patch testing as an alternative to prescribing systemic immunosuppressants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-667
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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