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Australas J Dermatol. 2002 Aug;43(3):211-3.

Allergic contact dermatitis following exposure to essential oils.

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Skin and Cancer Foundation, Carlton, Victoria, Australia, and Health Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.


Allergic contact dermatitis from the topical use of essential oils is not widely recognized as an occupational hazard. Four cases of allergic contact dermatitis to essential oils occurring in three aromatherapists and one chemist with a particular interest in aromatherapy are described. All presented with predominantly hand dermatitis and demonstrated sensitization to multiple essential oils. One patient developed a recurrence of cutaneous symptoms following ingestion of lemongrass tea. Workers within this industry should be aware of the sensitization potential of these products and the risk of limiting their ability to continue employment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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