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Clinical Profile and Allergens in Pigmented Cosmetic Dermatitis and Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Cosmetics in India

Sharma, Vinod K., MD*; Bhatia, Riti, MD; Yadav, Chander P., PhD

doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000407

Background Pigmented cosmetic dermatitis (PCD) is frequently encountered in dark-skinned individuals as gradual hyperpigmentation on the face without preceding erythema or itching. Little is known about the allergen profile in PCD.

Objectives The aim of the study was to describe the clinical profile and common allergens in PCD and allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) to cosmetics in Delhi.

Methods Records of patients suspected of PCD and ACD to cosmetics were analyzed. All patients were patch tested with the Indian standard series, Indian cosmetic and fragrance series, and personal cosmetics and, in relevant cases, hairdresser series.

Results One hundred six patients were analyzed. Patch test was positive in 77 cases (72.6%). Cetrimonium, gallate mix, thiomerosal, and skin lightening creams were more frequently positive in cases of PCD (P = 0.019–0.003), whereas p-phenylenediamine, toluene-2,5 diamine sulfate, p-aminophenol, m-aminophenol, and nitro-p-phenylenediamine were predominantly positive in ACD to cosmetics (P < 0.001).

Conclusions Preservatives, antioxidants, and skin lightening creams seem to play a role in causation of PCD, whereas hair dye allergens cause ACD to cosmetics in India.

From the *Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi;

Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh; and

Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

Address reprint requests to Vinod K. Sharma, MD, FAMS, FRCP, Dermatology and Venereology, Room No 4070, 4th Floor Teaching Block, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029, India. E-mail:

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

This study is attributed to the Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India.

This study was awarded the “Howard-Maibach” Travel Grant Award at the Annual Meeting of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, held in San Diego on February 15, 2018.

© 2018 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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