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Contact Dermatitis. 2007 Apr;56(4):211-3.

Frequency of dermatoses associated with cosmetics.

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Sector of Allergy and Phototherapy, Clinic of Dermatology, Santa Casa de Sao Paulo Hospital and School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


The objectives of this study were (i) to determine the frequency of dermatoses caused by use of cosmetics in patients with specific complaints of reaction to cosmetic products, and (ii) to observe the main skin conditions frequently misunderstood by users as cosmetic reactions. 176 patients seen in a private office from 1999 to 2006, with complaint of dermatoses caused by cosmetics were examined. The clinical history, physical examination, relation between site of reaction and use of cosmetics were assessed. Of the patients examined, 154 (87.5%) were women and 22 (12.5%) men. About 90 (52%) patients had no skin condition related to cosmetics, 80 (45%) had dermatoses associated with cosmetics, and 6 patients (3%) had inconclusive results. Melasma, contact dermatitis to other products, and acne were the conditions that users associated more often to cosmetics. 14% of patients had skin lesions caused by inappropriate cosmetic use. To conclude, the true adverse reaction to cosmetics was not very common. In this study, dermatitis was associated with cosmetics in only 31% of patients with specific complaint of dermatitis caused by cosmetics. Therefore, 52% of patients misdiagnosed the condition and had other dermatoses, and 14% made inappropriate use of cosmetics.

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