A study of patch testing in subjects with hand eczema of different occupational groups

Harshit T. Bhachech, Chandra Shekhar R. P. Jaiswal, Hita Hemant Mehta


Background: Hand dermatitis is a common dermatological disorder in different occupational groups. Patch Testing serves as an important tool for identifying allergens responsible for contact dermatitis.

Methods: A study of patch testing was conducted in patients of hand eczema of different occupational groups with aim to identify allergens for particular occupational groups. Study was conducted as an observational study of patch testing in patients of hand eczema who attended skin OPD in our hospital in one year duration. After detailed history and complete examination, patch testing was done by Indian Standard Series in 45 Patients of hand dermatitis. There were eight farmers, eight masons, five housewives, four diamond workers, eight miscellaneous labourers and 12 patients of varied non-specific occupations. Grading was done using ICDRG criteria at 48 and 72 hrs.

Results: Among 45 patients, 35 were male and 10 female. Positive patch test was seen in 62.2% of patients with parthenium being the most common allergen (27%), followed by potassium dichromate (18.2%). There were extreme positive results in five, strong positive in ten and weak positive in rest positive results. 87.5 % occupation-allergen co-relation was seen in farmers followed by 50 % among masons. Only two patients showed variation in reading between 48 hr and 72 hr.

Conclusions: Our study showed good correlation between occupation and positive patch test especially among farmers and masons. Many other non-specific allergens were also found positive and exposure to those can be prevented to avoid hand eczema in different occupational groups. 


Occupational groups, Hand eczema, Patch testing

Full Text:



Skoet R, Oslen J, Mathiesen B, Iversen L. A servey of occupational hand eczema in Denmark. Contact Dermatitis. 2004;51:159-66.

Martin MC, David JW, Elizabeth DW. Chronic hand eczema in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD): Prevalence, incidence, comorbidities, and initial treatment. J Am Acad Dematol. 2015;72,1:AB95.

Kishore NB, Belliappa AD, Shetty NJ. 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 center. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2008;74:498-9.

Spiewak R. Patch Testing for Contact Allergy and Allergic Contact Dermatitis. The Open Allergy Journal. 2008;1:42-51.

Bajaj AK, Saraswat A, Mukhija G. Patch testing experience with 1000 patients. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2007;73:313-8.

Lakshmi C, Srinivas CR. Hand eczema: An update. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2012;78:569-82.

Sharma VK, Verma P. Parthenium dermatitis in India: Past, present and future. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2012;78:560-8.

Swennen B, Buchet JP, Stanescu D. Epidemiological survey of workers exposed to cobalt oxides, cobalt salts, and cobalt metal, British Journal of Industrial Medicine. 1993;50:835-42.

Rai R, Dinaker D, Kurian SS, Bindo YA. Investigation of contact allergy to dental materials by patch testing. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2014;5:282-6.