Dimethyl fumarate causes contact dermatitis of the foot, an increasingly widespread disease

Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a biocide that prevents the deterioration of mainly, but not only, leather furniture and shoes. It can be found in little sachets stapled to the insides of sofas, and is used in the storage and transportation of shoes. It has been recognised as an extremely potent irritant and sensitiser, but is not yet included in patch tests for allergens.

Doctors from the Allergological and Occupational Dermatology Unit in the Department of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery at the University of Florence, Italy, have reported the case of a 37-year-old woman who developed severe eczema of the foot shortly after buying and wearing a new pair of shoes. A diagnosis of sensitivity to DMF was made by patch tests with DMF in several different strength solutions using pieces of internal and external parts of the shoe, and by a chemical analysis of the shoe.

They conclude that new cases of contact dermatitis could be dependent on DMF, and therefore that DMF patch tests be included in allergen tests.

Source: International Journal of Dermatology

September 2011


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