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Eyelid Dermatitis and Contact Sensitization to Nickel: Results from an Italian Multi-Centric Observational Study

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Background: Due to the sensitizing constituents of eye cosmetics, allergic contact dermatitis is considered a frequent cause of eyelid dermatitis. An association between eyelid dermatitis and nickel contained in make-ups remains controversial.

Objective: The study aimed to assess the association between nickel allergy, the use of pigmented makeup products and self-reported eyelid dermatitis.

Method: This multi-centric, cross-sectional study enrolled 165 women sensitized to nickel (patients) and 103 women without intolerance to metals (controls). We recorded: demographics, atopy, use of pigmented eye cosmetics (mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil), and previous eyelid dermatitis. Among the patients, any co-sensitization to cosmetics or metals was recorded.

Results: 87.3% of the patients and 91.3% of the controls reported their use of eye make-up; 44.9% and 52.4%, respectively, reported previous episodes of eyelid dermatitis, without significant differences. The occurrence of eyelid dermatitis was significantly associated with the use of eye make-up products, both in general and considering each product separately. Age, atopy, or co-sensitization to other metals or cosmetics did not affect the occurrence of eyelid dermatitis.

Conclusion: Nickel allergy should not be considered the main risk factor for eyelid dermatitis. The use of pigmented eye make-up may be a triggering factor for eyelid dermatitis, probably due to an irritant action.
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Keywords: Eyelid dermatitis; allergic contact dermatitis; cosmetics; irritant contact dermatitis; make-up products; nickel allergy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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  • This journal is devoted to timely reviews of experimental and clinical studies in the field of endocrine, metabolic, and immune disorders. Specific emphasis is placed on humoral and cellular targets for natural, synthetic, and genetically engineered drugs that enhance or impair endocrine, metabolic, and immune parameters and functions. Topics related to the neuroendocrine-immune axis are given special emphasis in view of the growing interest in stress-related, inflammatory, autoimmune, and degenerative disorders.
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