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Am J Contact Dermat. 1999 Mar;10(1):37-9.

Garlic-related dermatoses: case report and review of the literature.

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Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Otto-von-Guericke- University of Magdeburg, Germany.



Garlic is widely appreciated as a spice and as a vegetable as well as an over-the-counter phytotherapeutic. From a dermato-allergological standpoint, several garlic-related adverse reactions have to be distinguished.


The corresponding literature is reviewed briefly, with regard to our present observation of a cook, who contracted garlic-induced contact dermatitis being analyzed for its complex pathomechanism.


The patient showed a positive type-IV patch test reaction for diallyl disulfide, a low molecular weight garlic ingredient; and strong, non-irritant reactions after 20 min and 24 hrs in the scratch chamber test with fresh total garlic.


Thus, in this case of an occupational dermatosis, protein contact dermatitis had to be considered, as well as allergic type-IV contact dermatitis as a co-existing pathomechanism.


The spectrum of garlic-related adverse reactions comprises irritant contact dermatitis, with the rare variant of zosteriform dermatitis; induction of pemphigus, allergic asthma and rhinitis; contact urticaria; protein contact dermatitis; allergic contact dermatitis, including the hematogenic variant; as well as combinations thereof, as evidenced by our present case observation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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