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Contact Dermatitis. 1987 Jul;17(1):26-34.

Contact allergy to cosmetics: causative ingredients.

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Department of Dermatology, Willem-Alexander Hospital, Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.


Of 1781 patients with contact dermatitis seen during a period of 6 years (1981-1986), 75 (4.2%) had allergy to cosmetic products. The face was most frequently affected. In many cases, the dermatitis was limited to the eyelids (18.7%) or the face (40.0%). Skin care products (moisturizing and cleansing cream/lotion/milk) accounted for more than half (52.3%), followed by nail cosmetics (8.0%), shaving preparations (8.0%) and deodorants (6.8%). The ingredients most often responsible were fragrances (45.1%), followed by the preservative Kathon CG (11.0%) and the emulsifier oleamidopropyl dimethylamine (9.8%). In 14 patients (18.7%), patch tests with the responsible cosmetic product were negative. In them, the diagnosis was made by use tests and/or repeated open application tests. Compulsory declaration of ingredients on cosmetic product labels in the EEC, analagous to the USA situation, would be of great benefit both to patients and to physicians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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