Korean J Dermatol.  2020 Jul;58(6):371-381.

Analysis of Positive Rates for Standard Allergens of Patch Test in Korea with Literature Review

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine


Korean standard series (KSS) have not changed for 20 years. Moreover, the Korea Food and Drug Administration has suspended import licensing of Cosmetic series (ChemotechniqueⓇ). Objective: To analyze trends in the positive rates of allergens in patch test using KSS and present a literature review on the comparison of the results those of European baseline series (EBS) and North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) screening series.
Epidemiologic findings and the positive rate of KSS allergens were analyzed from patients who visited the Department of Dermatology in Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital between 1998 and 2018. Literature reviews were conducted on the comparison of the results with those of the 2015∼2016 NACDG, 2013∼2014 ESSCA, and standard antigens in K-camp.
The positive rates of KSS allergens from 126 patients in 2018 were compared with those from 184 patients during 1998 to 2007. The top 3 allergens in the two study periods were common; nickel sulfate, cobalt chloride, and potassium dichromate. Remarkably, the positive rates for balsam of Peru and paraben mix increased from 7.1% to 17.5% and from 2.7% to 7.9%, respectively. As compared with the results of NACDG standard series and EBS, KSS lacked fragrance and cosmetic series of allergens, especially fragrance mix II, methyldibromoglutaronitrile, and methylisothiazolinone, and epoxy series of allergens.
Our results, especially the increasing trends of balsam of Peru and paraben mix, would be further confirmed in a multicenter study. Additionally, in view of the increase in fragrance and preservative allergens, KSS would need the addition of related allergens.


Contact dermatitis; Patch test; Positive rate; Standard allergens
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