Contact sensitizations in massage therapists with occupational contact dermatitis: Patch test data of the Information Network of Departments of Dermatology, 2008–2020

for the IVDK

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Massage therapists are particularly exposed to constituents of massage preparations, wet work and mechanical strain and therefore, at high risk to develop occupational dermatitis (OD). Objectives: To describe the sensitization spectrum of massage therapists with OD. Patients and Methods: In a retrospective study, patch test data of patients with OD (128 massage therapists and 24 374 patients working in other professions) collected by the Network of Departments of Dermatology (IVDK, 2008–2020) were analysed. Results: Hand dermatitis (91.4%) and allergic contact dermatitis (34.4%) were common in massage therapists with OD. Most frequent were sensitizations to fragrances/essential oils which were found in 54 (42.2%) massage therapists and thus, more often than in other patients with OD. Concomitant positivity to several fragrances/essential oils was frequent. In 8 (14.8%) of the 54 massage therapists, sensitizations to fragrances/essential oils were not detected with the baseline series, but only with special fragrance series. Conclusions: Allergic contact dermatitis is common in massage therapists with OD and is mainly caused by fragrances and essential oils. Hence, massage therapists should be aware of this risk. When OD is suspected, not only the baseline series, but also special fragrance series should be patch tested in this occupational group.

Original languageEnglish
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.2023

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-19 Dermatology

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