• Chinese medicinal materials;
  • allergic contact dermatitis;
  • irritant contact dermatitis;
  • adverse reactions;
  • fragrance;
  • herbal remedies;
  • medicaments;
  • contact urticaria;
  • systemic contact dermatitis;
  • Chinese herbs

Putative allergens in, clinical manifestations of, and patch tests with traditional Chinese medicinal materials (CMM) causing contact dermatitis (CD) were studied. 14 patients with CMM CD and 351 controls were patch tested with the standard series of allergens of Beijing Medical University and the suspected drug, as is. It was found that most CMM CD was caused by the CMM frequently used topically for analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. All patients patch tested with the suspected drug gave positive results. Some patients also reacted to fragrance mix. Colophony, rubber mix and ammoniated mercury. The positively rates of fragrance mix and colophony in CMM CD patients were significantly higher than in controls (55.6% versus 16.5% for fragrance mix, X2= 11. 86, P < 0.01; and 55.6% versus 5.1% for colophony, X2= 29.35. P < 0.01), while not those of rubber mix and ammoniated mercury. Results indicated that the topical analgesic and anti-inflammatory CMM, especially those containing fragrance, may cause contact sensitization. Clinical findings in CMM CD included cutaneous irritation, allergic contact dermatitis. immediate contact reactions and systemic contact dermatitis. CMM CD can he diagnosed by patch testing the putative drug, as is.