Shoe contact dermatitis from dimethyl fumarate: clinical manifestations, patch test results, chemical analysis, and source of exposure

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Background The methyl ester form of fumaric acid named dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is an effective mould-growth inhibitor. Its irritating and sensitizing properties were demonstrated in animal models. Recently, DMF has been identified as responsible for furniture contact dermatitis in Europe. Objective To describe the clinical manifestations, patch test results, shoe chemical analysis, and source of exposure to DMF-induced shoe contact dermatitis. Patients, Materials, and Methods Patients with suspected shoe contact dermatitis were studied in compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Patch test results obtained with their own shoe and the European baseline series, acrylates and fumaric acid esters (FAE), were recorded according to international guidelines. The content of DMF in shoes was analysed with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Results Acute, immediate irritant contact dermatitis and non-immunological contact urticaria were observed in eight adults and two children, respectively. All the adult patients studied developed a delayed sensitization demonstrated by a positive patch testing to DMF < 0.1% in pet. Cross-reactivity with other FAEs and acrylates was observed. At least 12 different shoe brands were investigated. The chemical analysis from the available shoes showed the presence of DMF. Conclusion DMF in shoes was responsible for severe contact dermatitis. Global preventive measures for avoiding contact with DMF are necessary.


  • Ana Gimenez-Arnau
  • Juan Francisco Silvestre
  • Pedro Mercader
  • Jesus De la Cuadra
  • Isabel Ballester
  • Fernando Gallardo
  • Ramon M. Pujol
  • Erik Zimerson
  • Magnus Bruze
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Dermatologi och venereologi


Sidor (från-till)249-260
TidskriftContact Dermatitis
Utgåva nummer5
StatusPublished - 2009
Peer review utfördJa