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February 1979

Preparation of an Appropriate Antigen Extract for Patch Tests With Garlic

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(2):230. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010020068025

In a recent study,1 garlic (Allium sativum) was found to be the most frequent cause of contact dermatitis on the fingertips of housewives. However, patch tests with the undiluted juice of garlic were positive in several control subjects also. Although it was suggested that positive patch tests in the controls should indicate latent hypersensitivity to garlic, further studies were undertaken to substantiate the conclusions.

Subjects and Methods  Ten cases of patients having contact dermatitis on their fingertips and 35 controls with contact dermatitis due to some other agent, but with no dermatitis on their fingertips, were investigated. The controls were of two types: (1) 23 individuals who cooked routinely and were exposed to the juice of raw garlic and (2) 12 individuals who had never handled garlic. The diagnosis in each case was made on the basis of a detailed history, pattern of distribution of the lesions, patch tests,