Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV

Patch test results with patients' own perfumes, deodorants and shaving lotions: results of the IVDK 1998-2002.

PMID 17309462


Assessment of the value of patch testing patients' own perfumes, eau de toilette, deodorants and shaving lotions with regard to diagnosing contact allergy to fragrances, and an analysis of the spectrum of concurrent patch test reactions to single fragrance allergens. Data of the Information Network of Departments of Dermatology (IVDK; regarding patch test results with above products brought in by the patient, considered as possible cause of contact dermatitis, were retrospectively analysed. Between 1998 and 2002, 1468 patients were patch tested with 2557 single products (deodorants, n = 1094; eau de toilette, n = 598; perfume, n = 530; and pre- or after-shave, n = 325; remainder not classifiable), mostly 'as is'. Positive reactions were observed in 129 patients (to 191 products). In 58 of these patients, no further patch test reactions to the fragrance mix (FM-I), Myroxylon pereirae resin (balsam of Peru) or 4-(4-hydroxy-4-methyl-pentyl)-3-cyclohexencarboxaldehyde (e.g. Lyral(R)) were found. A strong association between contact sensitivity to the above commercial allergens and positive reactions to products was observed. Some single compounds such as ylang-ylang oil, propolis and especially oak moss absolute are important allergens in the 'perfume-positive' subgroup, but less in a subgroup positive to own deodorants. Patch testing this scope of products, brought in by the patient, can be regarded as a simple, safe and effective method to diagnose clinically relevant contact sensitization - the more so, as the composition of such products is ever-changing, and the sensitivity of established 'screening allergens' is thus insufficient.

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