Acrylates, the 2012 American Contact Dermatitis Society allergen of the year, are found in a range of products including the absorbent materials within feminine hygiene pads. When fully polymerized, acrylates are nonimmunogenic; however, if not completely cured, the monomers can be potent allergens.
A 28-year-old woman is presented, who had her teeth varnished with Isodan (Septodont, Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France) containing HEMA (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) with no initial reaction. Approximately 1 month later, the patient developed a genital dermatitis secondary to her feminine hygiene pads. The initial reaction resolved, but 5 months later, the patient developed a systemic contact dermatitis after receiving a second varnishing.
The patient was dramatically patch test positive to many acrylates. This case demonstrates a reaction to likely unpolymerized acrylates within a feminine hygiene pad, as well as broad cross-reactivity or cosensitivity to acrylates, and possibly a systemic contact dermatitis with systemic re-exposure to unpolymerized acrylates.