Content » Vol 84, Issue 4

Clinical Report

Are Adverse Skin Reactions to Cosmetics Underestimated in the ClinicalAssessment of Contact Dermatitis? A Prospective Study among 1075Patients Attending Swedish Patch Test Clinics

Magnus Lindberg, Monica Tammela, Åsa Boström, Torkel Fischer, Annica Inerot, Karin Sundberg, Berit Berne
DOI: 10.1080/00015550410025921


Itis known that cosmetics and skin care products can cause adverse skinreactions. However, the frequency of adverse reactions reported to theMedical Product Agency (MPA) in Sweden is low. The purpose of thepresent study was to evaluate the occurrence of adverse skin reactionsto cosmetics among patients referred for standard patch testing owingto suspected contact dermatitis in general, most frequently handeczema. Consecutive patients at four patch test clinics in Sweden wereinvited to participate; 1075 were included. Of these, 47.3% (54.2%women and 30.8% men) reported current or previous adverse skinreactions to cosmetics and skin care products. This group showedsignificantly more positive patch test reactions, a higher prevalenceof atopic dermatitis and the dermatitis was more frequently located inthe face and neck region. Our results show that patients referred forstandard patch testing have - or have had - a large proportion ofself-reported adverse reactions to cosmetics or skin care products. Weconclude that among patients with suspected contact dermatitis, adversereactions to cosmetics can be a more important aetiological and/orcomplicating factor than is commonly acknowledged and that thereporting of such reactions to the MPA probably can be improved.


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