BACKGROUND: Fragrance ingredients can cause contact allergy, which may affect quality of life (QoL). However, few studies have investigated this topic. OBJECTIVES: To investigate QoL life among subjects with a fragrance allergy as compared with other eczema patients. METHODS: A case-control survey was sent to subjects with a positive patch test reaction to a fragrance ingredient/marker (n = 550) and to a control group (n = 1100). It contained questions on eczema and the newly developed fragrance QoL index. Participants had been consecutively patch tested at Gentofte University Hospital (2000-2010). The response rate was 65.7%. Information on patch test data was retrieved from the National Contact Dermatitis Database. RESULTS: An increase in impairment of QoL was observed in women with fragrance allergy as compared with the control group (p = 0.042), which was not found among men. Several factors played a significant role in impairment of QoL in women: (i) number of fragrance allergies, (ii) severity of the patch test reaction, (iii) age combined with recent diagnosis; and (iv) allergy to specific fragrance ingredients/markers. CONCLUSION: Fragrance-allergic subjects are just as affected in their QoL as other eczema patients. However, women, and in particular recently diagnosed young women, seem to be more impaired in their QoL than other eczema patients.
Contact Dermatitis, 2014, Vol 70, Issue 2, p. 81-89
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Adolescent; Adult; Age Factors; Aged; Case-Control Studies; Dermatitis, Allergic Contact; Eczema; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Patch Tests; Perfume; Quality of Life; Questionnaires; Severity of Illness Index; Sex Factors; Young Adult