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Br J Dermatol. 2000 Jan;142(1):84-8.

Allergic contact dermatitis to plant extracts in patients with cosmetic dermatitis.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, The General Infirmary at Leeds, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK.


Cosmetic contact allergy is commonly seen in patients undergoing patch testing, with fragrance one of the most frequently implicated ingredients. Many cosmetics contain plant extracts either as a fragrance or for medicinal properties. With a vogue for natural products there is an increase in their use. We have performed a prospective study over a 2-year period looking at the prevalence of contact allergy to plants in patients diagnosed with cosmetic dermatitis. In addition, we have performed a review of the products of two popular cosmetic companies, examining product labelling and the prevalence of use of plant extracts. We suggest that patients allergic to fragrance be advised to avoid plant extracts, which are separately labelled, in their personal care products.

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