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Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 119–128 | Cite as

Contact Dermatitis to Cosmetics

  • Matthew J. ZirwasEmail author
Article
  • 288 Downloads

Abstract

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) to cosmetics is extremely common—probably the most common reason patients present for patch testing. The diagnosis should initially be suspected based on the patient history and the distribution of the dermatitis. Once the diagnosis is suspected, empiric recommendations for low allergenicity products should be implemented until patch testing is performed. The face is exposed to greatest number of cosmetics, and as a result, facial dermatitis is the prototypical presentation of cosmetic contact dermatitis. In particular, the eyelids are frequently involved, with common sources including shampoo, conditioner, facial cleansers, makeup remover, mascara, nail polish, acrylic nails, makeup sponges, eyelash curlers, and allergens transferred from the hands. Other typical facial distributions include lateral facial dermatitis, central facial dermatitis, and generalized facial dermatitis, each with its own unique set of most likely causes. Lateral facial and/or neck dermatitis is often a “rinse-off” pattern, with shampoo and/or conditioner rinsing down over these areas. Central facial dermatitis, when due to ACD, can be due to gold being released from gold rings and contaminating makeup foundation or to ingredients in moisturizers, wrinkle creams, topical medications, or makeup. Sparing of the lateral face is largely due to the fact that patients are more assiduous about applying the aforementioned substances to the central face than to the lateral face. Generalized facial dermatitis should trigger consideration of airborne contactants, facial cleansers, makeup foundation, and moisturizers and medications that are being applied confluently. Once adequate patch testing has been performed, there are a number of extremely helpful resources to help patients find products that are safe for use, such as the American Contact Dermatitis Society’s “Contact Allergen Management Program” app.

Keywords

Contact dermatitis Cosmetic dermatitis Allergic contact dermatitis Eczema 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author has served as a consultant for numerous personal care product and pharmaceutical companies which are listed in the following table.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Matthew J Zirwas commercial relationships, updated Jan 2018.

Company

Product

Condition

Role

Recipient

Regeneron/Sanofi

Dupixent

Atopic dermatitis

Speaker, consultant, investigator

Self

Fit Bit

Fitbit

Fitness/activity tracker

Consultant

Self

Genench/Novartis

Xolair

Chronic urticaria

Speaker

Self

L’Oreal

CeraVe

Xerosis, dermatitis

Consultant

Self

Menlo

Serlopitant

Pruritus

Consultant

Self

AsepticMD

AsepticMD

Acne, keratosis pilaris

Part owner

Self

Leo

Tralokinumab

Atopic Dermatitis

Investigator

Employer

Janssen

Guselkumab

Psoriasis

Investigator

Employer

Incyte

Baricitinib

Atopic Dermatitis

Investigator

Employer

Foamix

Minocycline

Rosacea, Acne

Investigator

Employer

DS Biopharma

DS107

Atopic Dermatitis

Investigator

Employer

UCB

Bimekizumab

Psoriasis

Investigator

Employer

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio UniversityColumbusUSA

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