Contact allergy to preservatives: ESSCA* results with the baseline series, 2009–2012

A. M. Giménez-Arnau, G. Deza, A. Bauer, G. A. Johnston, V. Mahler, M. L. Schuttelaar, J. Sanchez-Perez, J. F. Silvestre, M. Wilkinson, W. Uter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Background: Allergic contact dermatitis caused by biocides is common and causes significant patient morbidity. Objective: To describe the current frequency and pattern of patch test reactivity to biocide allergens included in the baseline series of most European countries. Methods: Data collected by the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA) network between 2009 and 2012 from 12 European countries were analysed. Results: Methylisothiazolinone 0.2% aq. produced the highest prevalence of sensitization during the study period, with an overall prevalence of 4.5%. The mixture methylchloroisothiazolinone /methylisothiazolinone tested at 0.02% aq. followed closely, with 4.1% of positive reactions. Other preservatives with lower rates of sensitization, but still over 1%, include methyldibromo glutaronitrile (MDBGN) 0.5% pet. and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC) 0.2% pet. Formaldehyde releasers and parabens yielded less than 1% positive reactions during the study period. Some regional differences in the prevalence of contact allergy to biocides among European countries were observed. Conclusions: Contact allergy to biocides is common throughout Europe, and regional differences could be explained by differences in exposure or characteristics of the population tested. Timely regulatory action for isothiazolinones is required. Although MDBGN is banned from cosmetics products since 2005, sensitization prevalence has not appeared to plateau. IPBC is an emerging allergen with an increasing prevalence over the last few years, and its inclusion in the European baseline series may be appropriate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-671
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Contact allergy to preservatives: ESSCA* results with the baseline series, 2009–2012'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this