Textile allergy - The Melbourne experience

Dan Slodownik, Jason Williams, Bruce Tate, Mei Tam, Jennifer Cahill, Kathryn Frowen, Rosemary Nixon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Textile allergy is a well-established entity, but there are relatively few Australian reports in this area. Objectives. To report the combined experience of textile contact dermatitis from the general and occupational contact dermatitis clinics at the Skin and Cancer Foundation, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Patients/Methods. On the basis of the clinical suspicion of textile allergy, 2069 patients were tested with a textile series. Results. One hundred and fifty-seven (7.6%) patients reacted to any of the textile-related allergens. The most common allergen was Basic Red 46 (20.2% of the positive reactions), followed by Disperse Blue 106 and Disperse Blue 124 (11.8% and 11.2%, respectively). Reactions to formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals accounted for 30.6% of the concomitant reactions, and reactions to p-phenylenediamine accounted for 12.6% of the concomitant reactions. The use of Disperse Blue mix yielded only 12.2% of patients sensitive to either of these two allergens, and it is not endorsed as a screening agent for textile dye allergy. Conclusion. Textile allergy is not uncommon. In Melbourne, Basic Red 46 in inexpensive, dark-coloured, acrylic-blend, men's work socks is the most important cause. It is important to test with samples of patients' clothing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Basic Red 46
  • Clothing
  • Disperse blue
  • Dyes
  • Feet
  • Occupation
  • Resins


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