BACKGROUND: Allergy against natural rubber latex is an increasing problem in recent years, especially in health care workers, children with spina bifida. Many studies reported atopic dermatitis could be also one of risk factors of latex allergy. OBJECTIVE: Purposes of this study were not only to access the prevalence of latex sensitization in patients with atopic dermatitis, but to evaluate the relationship between latex sensitization and clinical allergy. METHODS: Of the total of 110 patients, 80 patients were atopic dematitis and 30 patients were controls. A questionaire-based history was taken, skin prick tests (SPTs) with latex glove extract and commercial latex allergen and several commercial fruit extracts were done. If SPT to latex was positive, use test performed. Patch tests for delayed type hypersensitivity were carried out with a small piece of latex glove, commercial latex allergens and rubber additives. RESULTS: Eighteens (22.5%) of 80 atopic dermatitis reported symptoms whenever they used rubber products. In skin prick test, 3 of 80 (3.8%) patients with atopic dermatitis were positive to latex glove extration solutions and also the commercial latex antigens. Reactions to fruit extracts including mixed nuts, potato, tomato, banana were 8.8%, 6.3%, 6.3%, 5.0%, respectively. Use test was done with all of 4 patients positive to SPT, and only one of them showed positive reaction. There is no positive result in latex glove or latex extraction in patch tests. CONCLUSION: There were no differences in latex sensitivities between patients with atopic dermatitis and healthy people. In patch tests, ZnBDC and mercapto mix were the highst rate of reaction addictives of NRLs.
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