Furniture components can cause contact allergies. In the last years several cases of eczema after sofa contact have been reported. Typically the skin lesions develop on the back, the buttocks, the dorsal aspects of the thighs and arms and are often very resistant to topical corticoid therapy. Dimethylfumarate (DMF) is postulated to be the causative agent for this Type IV hypersensitivity reaction. DMF is an antimicrobial substance, which is used in asian upholstered furniture industry amongst others. We report the case of a 65-year old patient with generalised severely itching maculopapular, partly eczematous skin lesions on the buttocks, back, abdomen and arms.
The resistance to therapy, several relapses after discharge from hospital as well as the detailed history lead us to the tentative diagnosis. The sofa dermatitis was proven by positive patch testing with furniture material and dimethylfumarate.