Fragrant and sticky allergens from the pinewood: cohabiting and coreacting

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Tree moss (Pseudevernia furfuracea [L.] Zopf.), a lichen growing on conifers, is a frequent fragrance sensitizer. Previous studies have shown two subgroups of tree moss-allergic patients: a group sensitized to common allergens of tree and oak moss (Evernia prunastri), and another group sensitized to colophonium-derived allergens, which may contaminate tree moss extract. Objectives: To report the results of including tree moss extract in the baseline series and discuss the clinical implications. Methods: Tree moss extract was included in the baseline series and sensitized patients were assessed for concomitant allergy to colophonium and oak moss, and the relevance of these reactions was analyzed. Results: Altogether, 22 of 632 patients (3.5%) had positive reactions to tree moss. Eight patients were sensitized to tree moss only (among fragrance allergens) and 75% had relevant reactions to colophonium. Fourteen patients were sensitized to other fragrance allergens as well and 28.5% had relevant colophonium reactions. Conclusions: The prevalence of positive tree moss reactions is high enough to justify its inclusion in the baseline series. If tree moss is not included, patients with positive colophonium reactions should be informed of possible (false) cross-reactivity to tree moss to avoid this labeled fragrance allergen.

Original languageEnglish
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)374-377
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019



  • Compositae
  • Pseudevernia furfuracea
  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • colophonium
  • fragrance allergy
  • lichen
  • oak moss
  • tree moss

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