Allergie contact dermatitis to preservatives in topical medicaments

Shari L. Skinner, James G. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are well-known allergens found in many topical preparations including medications. Objective: To analyze the relevance of a positive patch test to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in medications containing these preservatives. Methods: Patients were recruited with a history of allergy to one of these preservatives. Patch and use testing to the medications, vehicles, and preservatives were performed. The following medications and their respective preservatives were used: Rénova 0.05% cream/quaternium-15, Dovonex 0.005% cream/diazolidinyl urea, and Temovate-E 0.05% cream/diazolidinyl urea. Results: Nine patients participated in the study. A positive patch test to the preservative was repro-duced in six of nine patients, and a questionable reaction occurred in one. Two patients had a positive patch test to the topical medication and one a questionable reaction. There were no definitive positive patch tests to the vehicle but two questionable ones. Use testing revealed three positive reactions to Rénova, one to Rénova vehicle, and one to Temovate-E vehicle. Conclusions: The concentration of the preservative in the commercial preparation was often below the threshold necessary to produce a clinical reaction. Use testing is a valuable tool in the complete evaluation of the patient with a positive patch test to a formaldehyde-releasing perservative found in topical medication. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-201
Number of pages3
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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