Patch Testing Beneficial in Rosacea to Detect Contact Sensitivity

Acne, rosacea, woman, cheek
Acne, rosacea, woman, cheek
The "European standard series" contains 30 allergens and the "cosmetic series" contains 57 allergens.

The use of patch testing in patients with rosacea has proven beneficial in determining contact sensitivity in these individuals, particularly when such symptoms as itching, burning, and stinging are present, according to findings reported in the Annals of Dermatology.        

Investigators from the department of dermatology at Eskisehir Osmangazi University Training and Research Hospital, in Istanbul, Turkey, conducted a case-control study to assess contact sensitivity in a group of patients with rosacea compared with healthy volunteers. The study enrolled a total of 65 individuals with rosacea and 60 controls, all of whom were age ≥18. Both groups of patients received patch-testing with the “European standard series,” which contains 30 allergens, and the “cosmetic series,” which contains 57 allergens.

A positive reaction to ≥1 allergen in the European standard series was reported in 32.3% (21 of 65) of patients in the rosacea arm and in 20.0% (12 of 60) of participants in the control arm, in contrast to 30.8% (20 of 65) and 10.0% (6 of 60), respectively, of patients patch-tested in the cosmetic series (P =.08).

Overall, a positive reaction to ≥1 allergen was observed in 38.5% of patients with rosacea vs 25.0% of controls (P= .015), an association that was statistically significant. There was no statistically significant relationship reported between a positive reaction to 1 allergen in total and gender, age, skin type, rosacea type, ocular involvement, and disease duration. A significantly greater number of symptoms, including burning, itching, tingling, being unhappy with appearance, and pain, was observed in patients with rosacea who had a positive reaction to allergens (P <.001).

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The investigators concluded that the use of patch testing may be useful for the treatment and follow-up in patients with rosacea, especially patients with symptoms of burning, itching, and stinging. In the present study, contact sensitivity and irritant reactions were observed more often in individuals with rosacea.


Erdogan HK, Bulur I, Saracoglu ZN, Bilgin M. The evaluation of contact sensitivity with standard and cosmetic patch test series in rosacea patients. Ann Dermatol. 2018;30(3):290-295.