Recommendation to include hydroxyethyl (meth)acrylate in the British Baseline Patch Test Series

S. Rolls (Lead / Corresponding author), M. M. Chowdhury, S. Cooper, P. Cousen, A. M. Flynn, S. A. Ghaffar, C. M. Green, A. Haworth, C. Holden, G. A. Johnston, K. Naidoo, D. I. Orton, C. Reckling, R. A. Sabroe, M. Scorer, N. M. Stone, D. Thompson, S. Wakelin, M. Wilkinson, D. A. Buckley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)
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    Background: (Meth)acrylates are potent sensitizers and a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). The frequency of (meth)acrylate ACD has increased with soaring demand for acrylic nails. A preliminary audit has suggested a significant rate of positive patch tests to (meth)acrylates using aimed testing in patients providing a clear history of exposure. To date, (meth)acrylates have not been routinely tested in the baseline patch test series in the U.K. and Europe.

    Objectives: To determine whether inclusion of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (2-HEMA) 2% in petrolatum (pet.) in the baseline series detects cases of treatable (meth)acrylate ACD.

    Methods: During 2016–2017, 15 U.K. dermatology centres included 2-HEMA in the extended baseline patch test series. Patients with a history of (meth)acrylate exposure, or who tested positive to 2-HEMA, were selectively tested with a short series of eight (meth)acrylate allergens.

    Results: In total 5920 patients were consecutively patch tested with the baseline series, of whom 669 were also tested with the (meth)acrylate series. Overall, 102 of 5920 (1·7%) tested positive to 2-HEMA and 140 (2·4%) to at least one (meth)acrylate. Had 2-HEMA been excluded from the baseline series, (meth)acrylate allergy would have been missed in 36 of 5920 (0·6% of all patients). The top (meth)acrylates eliciting a positive reaction were 2-HEMA (n = 102, 1·7%), 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate (n = 61, 1·0%) and 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate (n = 57, 1·0%).

    Conclusions: We recommend that 2-HEMA 2% pet. be added to the British baseline patch test series. We also suggest a standardized short (meth)acrylate series, which is likely to detect most cases of (meth)acrylate allergy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)811-817
    Number of pages7
    JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
    Issue number4
    Early online date31 Jan 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Dermatology


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