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Contact Dermatitis. 2014 Mar;70(3):175-82. doi: 10.1111/cod.12154.

Allergic contact dermatitis caused by alkyl glucosides.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 33, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium.



Alkyl glucosides were not expected to have a sensitizing potential at the concentrations to be used in finished consumer products; however, several contact allergy cases have been published.


To report on the patients suffering from allergic contact dermatitis caused by alkyl glucosides observed in our department.


During a 19-year period (1993-2012), 11 842 patients with suspected contact dermatitis were patch tested with the European baseline series and, if relevant, also with other series and individual allergens. For this study, the clinical data and the sensitization sources in the alkyl glucoside-positive patients were analysed.


In total, 30 patients (24 women and 6 men) presented with a positive reaction to one or more alkyl glucosides. The causal products were shampoos (in 12), skin-cleansing products (in 12, among which were wipes for intimate hygiene), sunscreen products (in 5), skin-care products (in 4), and a deodorant (in 1). Sixteen patients showed multiple sensitivities (defined as three or more contact allergies), not only to other glucosides, but also to non-related chemicals.


Allergic contact dermatitis caused by alkyl glucosides in cosmetics does occur, and might be more frequent than suspected. In view of their common use, their identification as allergenic culprits is important.


alkyl glucosides; alkyl polyglucose; allergic contact dermatitis; cetearyl glucoside (CAS no. 246159-33-1); coco-glucoside (CAS no. 110615-47); cosmetics; decyl glucoside (CAS no. 58846-77-8; CAS no. 68515-73-1; CAS no. 141464-42-8; CAS no. 54549-25-6); emulsifiers; lauryl glucoside (CAS no. 27836-64-2); surfactants

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