• aeroallergens;
  • children;
  • atopic dermatitis;
  • contact dermatitis;
  • SCORAD index

Immediate and delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity are believed to be implicated in the physiopathology atopic dermatitis (AD). The purpose of this study was to evaluate Type I and Type IV allergy to aeroallergens in children with AD. 59 children (mean age 5.2 years), presenting with AD according to Hanifin and Rajka's criteria, were skin tested (patch and corresponding prick tests) with common environmental aeroallergens and a restricted panel of the European standard series over a 1-year period. History and clinical data were carefully recorded using a standardized evaluation sheet: total and specific IgE serum levels were evaluated 17 of 59 patients (28.8%) had at least 1 positive patch test, 32 of 59 patients (54.2%) had at least 1 positive prick test. Corresponding patch and prick tests were observed in 8 out of 17 patients. 5 children with positive patch tests had negative prick tests. Irritant pustular reactions (2/59, i.e. 3%), “angry back” reactions (6/59, i.e. 10%) and doubtful reactions (3/59, i.e. 5%) were excluded from the positive group. Positive patch tests observed included, in decreasing order: D. pteronyssinus and D. farinæ (26.8%) garden trees (12.2%), plantain (9.8%), timothy grass, mugwort and damp area trees (4.9% each), and orchard grass (2.44%). 6 children with positive aeroallergen patch tests and 11 children with negative aeroallergen patch tests had at least 1 positive patch test to standard allergens. All children with an irritant reaction to aeroallergens had no reaction to standard patch tests. The relevance of aeroallergens in upgrading the severity of AD lesions has still to be explored by challenge studies and by long-term follow-up.