Contact allergy to para-phenylenediamine in a permanent eyelash dye

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We present the case of a 30-year-old atopic lady with a known history of intolerance to several materials, including dark stockings, who developed a severe dermatitis on the eyelids and peri-orbital regions, as well as a conjunctivitis after having her eyelashes tinted by a beautician with a permanent black eyelash and eyebrow dye (Combinal, Dr Temt Laboratories, Austria). Patch tests revealed positive reactions to para-phenylenediamine (PPD), both diluted 0.01% and 1% in pet., to the eyelash dye (tested semiopen as is) and to some of the azo-dyes tested. The permanent eyelash dye did contain PPD, the use of which is illegal but seems to be a common practice. The patient had most probably been sensitized through nylon stockings containing azo-dyes, with PPD itself cross-reacting to them. With the growth in popularity of tattooing and permanent make-up, doctors should be aware of the new uses of this old allergen. Moreover, although many manufacturers have made great efforts to improve cosmetics concerning their safety, some of them remain uninformed about cosmetic legislation or do not respect it at all. Because many of these products are acquired via internet, lack of legislation about this shopping modality is also a serious problem.

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