Supplemental tests in the evaluation of occupational hand dermatitis in soldiers

Ronni Wolf, Moshe Movshowitz, Sarah Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. Hand dermatitis in soldiers is a considerable problem. The purpose of the study was to evaluate appropriate screening tests to improve the diagnosis of hand dermatitis in soldiers. Materials and Methods. A group of 111 soldiers with occupational dermatitis from contact with fuels and oils underwent 'tailored patch tests' with allergens relevant to their field of work and their environment. The control group consisted of 24 soldiers with various jobs similar to those of civilian life, who had not been exposed to oils and fuels. Seventy-three civilian patients, attending the clinic for patch testing, were also included. Twenty soldiers, who had a history of intensive contact with oil and fuels, but no contact dermatitis, and who were admitted because of various skin diseases (fungal infections, acne, etc.) also underwent the supplemental testing and served as an additional control group. Results. Of the soldiers, 31 (29%) showed one or more positive skin tests of the oil series and 30 patients of this group one or more positive reactions to the standard patch tests trays. No patient of the control groups had a positive test to the oil series. Conclusions. Our results show the value of the supplementary tests as a first-step screening test for detection of oil allergy in soldiers and automobile-mechanics or in workers handling other gasoline- or diesel-powered engineering equipment. The test method appears to be practical, easy to perform, reliable and giving clear and accurate results, with a negligible rate of false positive reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-176
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Dermatology
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1996

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