Contact dermatitis

Fragrance contact allergy: a 4-year retrospective study.

PMID 20573166


Fragrance chemicals are the second most frequent cause of contact allergy. The mandatory labelling of 26 fragrance chemicals when present in cosmetics has facilitated management of patients allergic to fragrances. The study was aimed to define the characteristics of the population allergic to perfumes detected in our hospital district, to determine the usefulness of markers of fragrance allergy in the baseline GEIDAC series, and to describe the contribution made by the fragrance series to the data obtained with the baseline series. We performed a 4-year retrospective study of patients tested with the Spanish baseline series and/or fragrance series. There are four fragrance markers in the baseline series: fragrance mix I (FM I), Myroxylon pereirae, fragrance mix II (FM II), and hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde. A total of 1253 patients were patch tested, 117 (9.3%) of whom were positive to a fragrance marker. FM I and M. pereirae detected 92.5% of the cases of fragrance contact allergy. FM II and hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde detected 6 additional cases and provided further information in 8, enabling improved management. A fragrance series was tested in a selected group of 86 patients and positive results were obtained in 45.3%. Geraniol was the allergen most frequently found in the group of patients tested with the fragrance series. Classic markers detect the majority of cases of fragrance contact allergy. We recommend incorporating FM II in the Spanish baseline series, as in the European baseline series, and using a specific fragrance series to study patients allergic to a fragrance marker.

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