Patch Test Reactions Associated With Sunscreen Products and the Importance of Testing to an Expanded Series: Retrospective Analysis of North American Contact Dermatitis Group Data, 2001 to 2010
Both active and inactive ingredients in sunscreen may cause contact dermatitis.Objectives
This study aimed to describe allergens associated with a sunscreen source.Methods
A cross-sectional analysis of patients patch tested by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group between 2001 and 2010 was performed.Results
Of 23,908 patients patch tested, 219 (0.9%) had sunscreen coded as an allergen source. Patients who were male, with occupational dermatitis, or older (older than 40 years) had significantly lower rates of allergic reactions to sunscreens; the most commonly affected areas were the face and exposed sites (P < 0.0001). The top 3 most frequent allergens in sunscreens were benzophenone-3 (70.2% for 10% concentration, 64.4% for 3% concentration), DL-alpha-tocopherol (4.8%), and fragrance mix I (4.0%). Less than 40% of positive patch test reactions were detected by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group screening series of 65 to 70 allergens.Conclusions
A supplemental antigen series is important in detecting allergy to sunscreens.