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Balsam of Peru: Past and Future

Scheman, Andrew MD*; Rakowski, Ella-Marie BS; Chou, Vincent BS*; Chhatriwala, Anam; Ross, Jeremy BS; Jacob, Sharon E. MD§

doi: 10.1097/DER.0b013e31828afab2

Balsam of Peru (BOP) is a well-known contact allergen that is one of the most prevalent in the United States. For some patients allergic to BOP, external avoidance of fragrance is not enough to eliminate their dermatitis. A BOP avoidance diet has been shown to help many of these patients. This article reviews BOP allergens found in food. A special patch test series of allergens found in BOP along with data regarding which foods contain specific BOP constituents makes it possible to design potential targeted, refined, and simplified diets for BOP systemic contact dermatitis.

From the *Northwestern University Medical Center; †Michigan State University, East Lansing; ‡College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL; and §University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Address reprint requests to Andrew Scheman, MD, 1535 Lake Cook Rd, Suite 401, Northbrook, IL 60062. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

© 2013 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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