Acrylic Resins

  • Kristiina Aalto-KorteEmail author
Reference work entry


Contact allergy to acrylic resin monomers is most often induced by artificial nails, anaerobic glues, and dental products, which usually contain aliphatic methacrylates. Patients exposed to methacrylate products commonly have allergic reactions to a large number of different methacrylates. 2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate (2-HEMA), ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA), and 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate (2-HPMA) are the most commonly positive, due to the strong cross-allergy between them. Other commonly positive methacrylates include ethyl methacrylate (EMA), methyl methacrylate (MMA), triethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (TREGDMA), and tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate (THFMA). Patients have not necessarily been exposed to all patch test-positive methacrylates.

Some products contain mostly aliphatic acrylates, e.g., UV-cured printing inks, lacquers, paints, varnishes, and glues. Contact allergy to acrylates is relatively rare. The main aliphatic acrylate allergens in these products include tripropyleneglycol diacrylate (TPGDA), and dipropyleneglycol diacrylate (DPGDA). Exposure to acrylates does usually not lead to cross-allergy to methacrylates.

Dental composite resins, UV-curable printing inks, and some glues contain epoxy acrylates such as bis-GMA and bis-GA. Most of the reactions to epoxy acrylates are cross-allergies to epoxy resin – about 20% of epoxy resin allergic patients react to some epoxy acrylates. Specific allergy to epoxy acrylates is rare, and diagnosis requires testing with the specific compound(s).

Cyanoacrylates and acrylamide derivatives are also rare independent allergens, which cannot be screened by other acrylic compounds, e.g., 2-HEMA.

Allergic contact dermatitis from acrylic resins typically affects the fingertips.

Risk occupations include beauticians (nail technicians), assemblers of machines and mechanical devices, dentists, dental nurses, dental technicians, printers, painters, and workers in paint factories.


Acrylate Methacrylate Cyanoacrylate Epoxy acrylate Glue Artificial nail Paint Coating Varnish Printer UV-cure Beautician Nail technician Dentist Dental nurse Dental technician Lash extension Assembler 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Occupational MedicineFinnish Institute of Occupational HealthHelsinkiFinland

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