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Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2010 Apr;137(4):281-4. doi: 10.1016/j.annder.2010.01.010. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

[Contact urticaria induced by hydrolyzed wheat proteins in cosmetics].

[Article in French]

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Service de dermatologie et allergologie, hôpital Tenon, AP-HP, 4, rue de la Chine, 75020 Paris, France.



Hydrolyzed wheat protein, produced by hydrolysis of gluten, is used in certain cosmetics and foods as emulsifiers and stabilizers. It can induce contact urticaria to cosmetics and/or anaphylaxis to food via an immunologic mechanism.


A 28-year-old female beautician presented recurrent contact urticaria, initially on the hands and then more diffused, immediately after applying cosmetics of the same brand containing hydrolyzed wheat protein. Skin tests were positive with the cosmetics and with the hydrolyzed wheat protein contained therein. A 34-year-old woman presented four episodes of generalized urticaria after eating industrially prepared foods. She had also experienced contact urticaria with cosmetics. Skin tests with hydrolyzed wheat protein were positive. For both patients, withdrawal of cosmetics and foods containing hydrolyzed wheat protein led to the regression of symptoms. They were both tolerant to traditional wheat products, such as bread and pastries.


Although contact urticaria to hydrolyzed wheat protein is rarely described, it must be understood since treatment by eradication of this product is simple and because contact urticaria may precede food allergy. Patients are tolerant to products containing unmodified wheat protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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