A clinical provocation study in fragrance-sensitive individuals
Deodorants are one of the most marketed types of cosmetics and are frequently reported as a cause of dermatitis, particularly among fragrance-sensitive persons. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of deodorants, which had previously caused axillary dermatitis in fragrance-mix-sensitive eczema patients, to provoke reactions on repeated open application tests on the upper arm and in the axillae, and to relate the findings to the content of fragrance-mix constituents in those deodorants. 14 eczema patients performed a 7-day use test with 1 or 2 deodorants that had caused a rash within the last 12 months. 2 applications per day were made in the axilla and simultaneously on a 25 cm2 area on the upper arm. A total of 20 deodorants were tested among the 14 patients. Afterwards, the deodorants were subjected to quantitative chemical analysis identifying constituents of the fragrance mix. 12/20 (60%) deodorants elicited eczema on use testing in the axilla. 8/12 deodorants were positive in the axilla on day (D) 7 and 4 both in the axilla and on the upper arm. 2 of the 4 developed a reaction in the axilla before it developed on the upper arm. Chemical analysis revealed that 18/19 deodorants contained between 1 and 6 of the fragrance-mix constituents, on average 3 being found. The mean concentration of fragrance-mix constituents was generally higher in the deodorants causing a positive use test, as compared with those giving a negative reaction, indicating that the differences between the deodorants in terms of elicitation potential were more related to quantitative aspects of allergen content than of a qualitative nature. It is recommended that deodorants are tested in the axilla in the case of a negative use test on the upper arm and a strong clinical suspicion.
Contact Dermatitis, 1998, Vol 39, Issue 4, p. 161-5