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November 1981

Allergic Contact Dermatitis Caused by Olive Wood Jewelry

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory for Experimental Allergology, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Hamburg, Germany (Dr Hausen); and the Department of Dermatology, Københavns Amts Sygehus i Gentofte, Hellerup, Denmark (Dr Rothenborg).

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(11):732-734. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650110054020

• A case of allergic contact dermatitis to olive wood occurred. To our knowledge, this is the first such case reported. The diagnosis was confirmed by positive patch tests to scrapings from olive wood and to the quinone compound fractions isolated from an extract of olive wood by thin-layer chromatography. The sensitizing properties of olive wood were proved by experimental sensitization of ten guinea pigs that reacted positively to a raw extract and to the fractionated quinone compounds from olive wood after sensitization. The chemical analysis made has shown, for the first time, that olive wood contains quinoid compounds belonging to the same group as the strong sensitizers desoxylapachol from teakwood and the dalbergiones from Brazilian and East Indian rosewood. However, compared with teakwood and rosewood, olive wood can only be considered a relatively weak sensitizer.

(Arch Dermatol 1981;117:732-734)