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Coll Antropol. 2013 Apr;37 Suppl 1:19-24.

Dermatological aspects of contact dermatitis from eyeglass frames and optical materials.

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University of Zagreb, Sestre milosrdnice University Hospital Center, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Zagreb, Croatia.


Although contact dermatitis (CD) from eyeglass frames is uncommon, occasionally it may be encountered. Various substances may cause allergic CD, including metals, cosmetics, plastics, rubber, solvents, antioxidants, dyes, and waxes, some of which can be found in the average eyeglass frame. Recently, it has been determined that plasticizers, UV stabilizers and nickel are the most common allergens. Thus CD from eyeglass frames should be suspected in patients with retroauricular dermatitis or with lesions on the point of contact with the skin. Sometimes, the question is raised whether skin lesions result from allergy or just irritation. It has also been found that the varnish applied to eyeglass frames could be a source of nickel. Sometimes, although the frame looks silver or gold, it may contain nickel. Additionally, palladium or titanium eyeglass frames have also been reported to result in allergic CD. Some titanium frames contain palladium, which may cause CD. Plastic frames occasionally present the problem as they contain a combination of materials, making it difficult to determine the exact composition. Most plastic glasses are made of zyl or propionate, and may contain other materials, such as nylon, carbon, polycarbonate, optyl and polyamid. Patch (epicutaneous) test on contact allergens with analysis of softened scrapings from frames is a valuable diagnostic method for these patients. Although topical corticosteroid therapy results in transient clinical resolution, they do not preclude recurrences and changing frame material is often the only solution for these patients. Additionally, hypoallergenic eyeglass frames are also available on the market.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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