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The Role of Cleaning Products in Epidemic Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Methylchloroisothiazolinone/Methylisothiazolinone

Marrero-Alemán, Gabriel, MD*; Saavedra Santana, Pedro, MD; Liuti, Federica, MD*; Hernández, Noelia, MD; López-Jiménez, Esmeralda, MD*; Borrego, Leopoldo, MD*

doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000352

Background Sensitivity to methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)/methylisothiazolinone (MI) has increased rapidly over recent years. This increase is mainly related to the extensive use of high concentrations of MI in cosmetic products, although a growing number of cases of occupational allergic contact dermatitis are caused by MCI/MI.

Objective The aim of this study was to examine the association between the increase in MCI/MI sensitization and the work performed by the patients in our area.

Methods A retrospective study was undertaken of the records of a total of 1179 patients who had undergone contact skin patch tests for MCI/MI from January 2005 to December 2015. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the factors independently associated with sensitivity to MCI/MI.

Results A constant increase in MCI/MI sensitization was observed over the observation period. The only work associated with a significant increase in the prevalence of MCI/MI sensitization was cleaning, with 38.5% of the cleaning professionals with MCI/MI sensitization consulting for cosmetics-related dermatitis.

Conclusions Occupational sensitization to MCI/MI in cleaning professionals is worryingly increasing. This, in turn, could possibly account for many cases of cosmetics-associated contact dermatitis. Our findings suggest that a review of the regulations with regard to isothiazolinone concentrations in industrial and household detergents is necessary.

From the *Department of Dermatology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Insular Materno-Infantil, and †Mathematics, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; and ‡Department of Dermatology, Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

Address reprint requests to Gabriel Marrero-Alemán, MD, Department of Dermatology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Insular Materno-Infantil, Avda Marítima del Sur s/n, CP 35016, Gran Canaria, Spain. E-mail:

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

© 2018 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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