Textile Dermatitis Associated With Contact Allergy to Disperse Dyes

Textile dermatitis, i.e. skin manifestations due to clothing and other textiles, can be caused by irritant reactions to textile fibres or by contact allergy to textile dyes and finishing chemicals.

Disperse dyes were developed for the dyeing of cellulose acetate, and are water insoluble. The dyes are finely ground in the presence of a dispersing agent and then sold as a paste, or spray-dried and sold as a powder. Their main use is to dye polyester but they can also be used to dye nylon, cellulose triacetate, and acrylic fibres. The very fine particle size gives a large surface area that aids dissolution to allow uptake by the fibre.

Disperse dyes (DDs) are the most common sensitizers among textile dyes. Contact allergy to DDs is quite common in Sweden, with 1.5% of 3325 consecutively patch tested patients reacting positively to a textile dye mix (TDM) consisting of eight DDs: Disperse Blue (DB) 35, 106 and 124; Disperse Yellow (DY) 3; Disperse Orange (DO) 1 and 3; and Disperse Red (DR) 1 and 17.

A questionnaire on textile-related skin problems was answered by 858 of 982 consecutively patch tested patients in Sweden and Belgium.

Para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which historically has been considered to be a screening allergen for textile dye dermatitis, is included in most baseline patch test series.

The patch testing was supplemented with a textile dye mix (TDM) consisting of the eight DDs and with the separate dyes.

18% of the patients suspected textiles as a cause of their skin problems.

Synthetic materials were the most common textiles to give skin problems.

A significant association was found between self-reported textile-related skin problems and contact allergy to para-phenylenediamine (PPD). A similar, but more imprecise, relationship was found for TDM.

Contact allergy to PPD was a more prevalent indicator for skin reactions to textiles than the TDM used in this study.

References:
Contact Allergy to Disperse Dyes and Related Substances Associated With Textile Dermatitis? Medscape, 2009.
Post-Traumatic Basal Cell Carcinoma Associated With Patch Testing - with strongly positive reaction to gold. Actas Dermo-Sifiliogr√°ficas (English Edition), 2009.
Dye, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Image source: Close-up of a polyester shirt, Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.

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