Contact Urticaria

This table depicts some of the most common causes of occupational contact urticaria and the occupations at highest risk.
Ammonia Persulfate:


Cellulase & Xylanase:

Handling of Foodstuffs:

Cow Dander:
Grains & Feeds:

Latex :

Acrylate Resins:

Epoxy Resins:
 AP  Flour a-Am CXase Food Cow Grain Ltx Acr Epx
Processed Food Preparersx
Food Workersx
Dairy Workersxx
Agricultural Workersxx
Medical Workersx
Dental Workersxxx
Electronics Workersxx

Main Source of Information for the Table:

Kanerva L, Tiikkanen J, Jolanki R, Estlander T. Statistical data on occupational contact urticaria. Contact Dermatitis 1996;35:229-233.

What Is the Relative Incidence of Contact Urticaria?

The paper cited above describes 815 cases of occupational contact urticaria that were reported during 1990-1994 to the Finnish Register of Occupational Diseases. During that same time period, 1944 cases of occupational allergic contact dermatitis were reported. Therefore, the evidence from Finland suggests that contact urticaria comprises approximately 30% (815 / 2759) of the total allergic work-related dermatoses.

Occupational Contact Urticaria Caused by Food:

  • Beef, Chicken, Pork, Liver, Salami casing mold, Fish, Frog, Lobster, Oysters, Shrimp, Scallops, Cheese, Eggs, and Milk;
  • Asparagus, Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Castor bean, Celery, Coffee bean (green), Cucumber pickle, Endive, Garlic, Lettuce, Mustard, Onion, Parsley, Parsnip, Potato, Soybean, Tomato, Winged bean, and Mushrooms;
  • Apple, Apricot stone, Lemon, Lemon peel, Lime, Strawberry, and Watermelon; 

Kanerva 2004, p. 98

Natural Rubber Latex Allergy

The prevalence of latex allergy in healthcare workers varies in different countries from 3% to 16%. "Allergen content varies widely between different brands, thus, use of low-allergen non-powdered gloves is crucial in the primary prevention of latex allergy. In secondary prevention, when even low-allergen non-powdered gloves are not tolerated, latex free gloves should be used." [Kanerva 2004, p. 101] See "Latex Allergy: A Prevention Guide" at the NIOSH web site.

"The diagnosis of rubber contact urticaria is suspected from a history of immediate symptoms after exposure to rubber and confirmed with positive use or prick test results. Radioallergosorbent test findings are less frequently positive but this should be the initial test, to avoid anaphylaxis." p. 360, Marks & DeLeo

Revised May 30, 2018