Background. Corticosteroids are used to treat dermatoses, including allergic contact dermatitis, but can also cause contact allergy. The frequency of corticosteroid allergy varies between studies and is influenced by treatment traditions and availability.
Aim. To estimate the prevalence of tixocortol-21-pivalate, budesonide and hydrocortisone-17-butyrate allergy in a Danish patch test population and characterize individuals with corticosteroid allergy.
Materials/methods. Three thousand five hundred and ninety-four patients were patch tested with tixocortol-21-pivalate, budesonide, and hydrocortisone-17-butyrate. Characterization was performed according to the MOAHLFA index and duration of disease.
Results. Two per cent had a steroid allergy: 0.8% had a tixocortol-21-pivalate allergy, 1% a budesonide allergy, and 1% a hydrocortisone-17-butyrate allergy. Tixocortol-21-pivalate and budesonide allergy were associated with atopic dermatitis in crude analyses, but only tixocortol-21-pivalate allergy and atopic dermatitis remained associated in adjusted analyses. Leg dermatitis was uniquely associated with tixocortol-21-pivalate allergy. Hydrocortisone-17-butyrate allergy was associated with duration of disease in both crude and adjusted analyses.
Discussion/conclusion. Chronic dermatoses (atopic dermatitis and leg dermatitis) were identified as risk factors for group A corticosteroid allergy, probably because of more pronounced exposure to group A steroids resulting from ease of access that is exploited by patients with a chronic dermatosis. The duration of disease rather than the dermatosis itself seemed to be important for group B and D2 corticosteroid allergy.