• Wolfgang UterEmail author


Several thousands of synthetic or natural (mixtures of) fragrances are used mainly for perfuming cosmetic products, but partly also in household or technical products, topical medicines or toys. Routine patch testing uses fragrance mix I (seven synthetics and one natural extract), II (five synthetics – one, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, presently also tested as single allergen at 5 % in petrolatum) and Myroxylon pereirae resin (Balsam of Peru). Around 16 % of consecutively patch-tested patients are positive to these markers. The patient’s history as well as clinical presentation may either be suggestive of fragrances as cause of contact dermatitis (e.g. fine fragrances, after shaves, deodorants) or less suggestive if, e.g. fragranced body lotions, hand creams, etc. have caused dermatitis. Patch testing of own products and, in case of diagnostic doubt, repeated open application testing are valuable tools to better diagnose or verify contact sensitisation to a fragrance compound. Secondary prevention relies on ingredient information (not only, but foremost, in cosmetics) as (1) basis for adequate patch testing and (2) later allergen avoidance.


Fragrances Contact allergy Cosmetics Prehaptens Prohaptens Diagnosis Prevention 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and EpidemiologyFriedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, ErlangenErlangenGermany

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