Background and objective
Rosacea is a chronic acneiform skin disorder in which impaired skin barrier function can lead to sensitization to allergens. We aimed to analyze contact allergies in our patients with rosacea.
Material and methods
Retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent patch testing in our skin allergy clinic between May 1991 and May 2019.
A total of 200 patients with rosacea were referred to our clinic for patch testing during the study period; they represented 2.1% of all patch tested patients in the period. Eighty-one percent were women (mean age, 44.7years). At least 1 positive patch test was recorded for 46.5%; 15% were of current relevance. The most frequent positive reaction was to nickel (26%), followed by cobalt chloride (6.5%), isothiazolinones (6%), p-phenylenediamine (5.5%), fragrance mix II (5%), and thimerosal (3.5%). The most common currently relevant patch test reactions were to isothiazolinones in 10 of the 200 patients (5%); to phenylenediamine, fragrance mix II, and toluensulfonamide formaldehyde resin in 4 patients (2%) each; and to tixocortol and fragrance mix I in 2 patients (1%) each. The allergen groups most often implicated were metals (of current relevance in 12.6%) and drugs (of current relevance in 25.8%). Preservatives and fragrances were the next most common allergen groups, and 70.8% and 43.7% of the positive reactions in these groups, respectively, were of current relevance. Cosmetics were the most frequent source of sensitization, followed by topical medications—notably corticosteroids and antifungal agents.
We emphasize the high prevalence of allergic contact dermatitis in patients with rosacea, a finding which supports patch testing, especially if eruptions worsen when these patients use cosmetics and topical medications.