Published: 2019-07-24

Relevance of patch testing and its correlation with clinical patterns of contact dermatitis of hand

Devaprabha Sendurpandian, M. R. Subashini


Background: Contact dermatitis of hand is a common dermatoses with different aetiological conditions and different morphologies. The aim of our study is to identify the clinical patterns, causative allergens and the relevance of patch testing for contact dermatitis of hand.

Methods: A total of 74 patients with hand eczema were included in our study after getting informed and written consent to do patch tests during December 2016 to May 2017 in our dermatology OPD. Patch test was done by using Indian standard series battery and the readings were taken at 48 hrs and 72 hrs. The results were interpreted according to International Contact Dermatitis Research Group (ICDRG) criteria.

Results: The incidence of hand eczema was 3.2 percent with male: female ratio of 1.55:1. The most common age group affected was 31-40 years. The most common morphological pattern observed in our study was fissured pattern (43%) followed by unspecified pattern (23%), hyperkeratotic (12%), lichenoid (10%), pompholyx (4%), fingertip eczema (1%), ring pattern (1%) and mixed morphology (6%). In our study, current relevance of 79% (31 allergens), doubtful relevance of 15% (6 allergens), and old relevance of 3% (one allergen) was noted. Cross sensitization was observed with one allergen (3%).

Conclusions: Patch testing is a very useful scientific diagnostic tool that unravels the cause of contact dermatitis of hand. Avoidance of the substances responsible for allergy can be advised to the patient.


Hand eczema, Morphology, Patch test, Relevance

Full Text:



Berth-Jones J. Eczema, lichenification, prurigo and erythroderma. In: Burns T, Breathnach S, Cox N, Griffiths C, editors. Textbook of Dermatology, 8 th ed. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010;23:13.

Kishore NB, Belliappa AD, Shetty NJ, Sukumar D, Ravi S. Hand eczema-clinical patterns and role of patch testing. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2005;71:207-8.

Laxmisha C, Kumar S, Nath AK, Thappa DM. Patch testing in hand eczema at a tertiary care centre. Indian J Dermatol Venerol Leprol. 2008;74:498-9.

Suman M, Reddy BS. Patterns of contact sensitivity in Indian patients with hand eczema. J Dermatol. 2003;30:649-54.

Handa S, Kaur I, Gupta T, Jindal M. Hand eczema: correlation of morphological patterns, atopy, contact sensitization and disease severity. Indian J Dermatol Venerol Leprol. 2009;75:136-41.

Pasricha JS. Contact dermatitis in India, General Features. The offsetters, New Delhi. 1988: 1-20.

Bhargava K, White IR, White JML. Thiuram patch test positivity 1980-2006: Incidence is now falling. Contact Dermatitis. 2009;60:222-3.

Sudhashree VP, Parasuramalu BG, Ranjana MS. A clinic-epidemiological study of allergens in patients with dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol Venerol Leprol. 2006;72:235-7.