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Flexural allergic contact dermatitis to benzalkonium chloride in antiseptic bath oil

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Summary

Benzalkonium chloride (BAK) is an acknowledged irritant but has also been identified as a cause of allergic contact dermatitis. The antiseptic bath emollient Oilatum® Plus (Stiefel, High Wycombe, U.K.) contains a relatively high concentration of 6% BAK. We describe six patients who presented with flexural eczema, particularly involving the anogenital area, who had a history of using Oilatum® Plus. Patch testing showed all six to have a type 4 allergy to BAK as well as other allergens. Avoidance of Oilatum® Plus led to a resolution of the flexural eczema in each case.
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Keywords: allergic contact dermatitis; bath additives; benzalkonium chloride; flexural eczema; irritant contact dermatitis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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