Contact Dermatitis • Original Article
Contact sensitization in dental technicians with occupational contact
dermatitis. Data of the Information Network of Departments of
Dermatology (IVDK) 2001–2015
, Thomas Werfel
, Steffen Schubert
, Johannes Geier
for the IVDK
Division of Immunodermatology and Allergy Research, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany and
Information Network of Departments of Dermatology, University Medical Centre Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
Background. Dental technicians (DTs) are at increased risk for allergic contact sensiti-
Objectives. To assess the current spectrum of occupational sensitization in DTs with
occupational contact dermatitis (OCD).
Methods. A retrospective analysis of Information Network of Departments of Dermatol-
ogy patch test data from the years 2001– 2015 concerning DTs with OCD was performed.
Results. Patients of the study group (226 DTs with OCD) were signicantly more often
diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis (37.6% versus 18.5%; p = 0.0002) than
patients of the control group (124 DTs without OCD). In the study group, positive reac-
tions were most frequently observed to methacrylates and/or acrylates (n = 67). Of these,
61 patients showed positive reactions to at least one of the ve most frequent allergens in
this group, namely 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate, methyl
methacrylate, ethyl methacrylate, and/or ethylene glycol dimethacrylate. In contrast, no
positive reactions to diurethane dimethacrylate (DUDMA) occurred. Among allergens of
the German Contact Dermatitis Research Group series ‘dental metals’, positive reactions
were less frequent and were mainly to palladium chloride (n = 6).
Conclusions. The present data analysis showed that the sensitization spectrum and
spectrum of cross-reactivity are largely unchanged as compared with the 1990s. It
can be concluded that test recommendations are still valid and useful, except for the
methacrylate DUDMA, which could be omitted.
Key words: acrylates; contact allergy; dental technicians; patch testing.
While manufacturing or repairing dentures, dental tech-
nicians (DTs) are exposed to uncured plastic resins,
mainly acrylates and methacrylates, as liquids or
Correspondence: Dr Annice Heratizadeh, Division of Immunodermatology
and Allergy Research, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Hannover
Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany. Email:
Conﬂict of interests: The authors declare no conﬂicts of interests pertinent
to the present study.
Accepted for publication 3 November 2017
powders, and to metals such as cobalt, palladium,
and gold, all of these materials being potential contact
allergens (1–5). Improved skin protection at the work-
place has reduced allergen exposure and the frequency
of occupational dermatitis in DTs in the last decades (6).
Nevertheless, allergen contact with the hands, forearms
or face still occurs (7, 8), either because of the wearing
of insufciently protective gloves, or because of airborne
dust exposure during the grinding of freshly cured plastic
or metal parts. In addition, wearing elastic protective
gloves carries the risk of sensitization to rubber chemicals
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Contact Dermatitis, 78, 266–273