pharmaceutical products in Belgium.
Nardelli A, D'Hooghe E, Drieghe J, Dooms M, Goossens A.
Contact Dermatitis. 2009 Jun;60(6):303-13.
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Katholieke Universiteit
Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
OBJECTIVES: To determine which topical pharmaceutical products marketed in
Belgium contain fragrances and to examine the nature of the fragrance
allergens in specific pharmaceutical products having caused iatrogenic
METHODS: All topical pharmaceutical products marketed in Belgium, that is
3820 products, were examined as to their fragrance content as labelled. Data
of 18, 960 patients investigated for contact allergy between 1978 and 2008
were retrieved from our database, including information on the nature of the
topical pharmaceutical products used, the results of patch tests, and the
RESULTS: Three hundred and seventy (10%) of 3280 of the topical
pharmaceutical products were found to contain a total of 66 fragrance
substances. Among 3378 patients suffering from iatrogenic allergic contact
dermatitis, 127 were found to react to 48 specific products, for which 38
different fragrance substances gave relevant positive reactions. Women were
more affected than men, and legs, hands, and face were the most commonly
affected body sites.
CONCLUSIONS: Fragrances, the presence of which is in most cases unnecessary,
do contribute to iatrogenic allergic contact dermatitis. Moreover,
sensitized patients have difficulties in avoiding their specific allergens
because standardized labelling of the ingredients in pharmaceutical products
PMID: 19489964 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]