Citral a fragrance allergen and irritant

S Heydorn, T Menne, KE Andersen, Magnus Bruze, Cecilia Svedman, IR White, DA Basketter

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Citral is a well known contact allergen and a contact irritant. Routine patch testing in the past may have been restricted because of possible irritant (IR) patch test responses. 586 consecutive patients, with hand eczema, were patch tested with a selection of fragrances including citral 2% petrolatum and the European standard series. 28 of the patients showed a positive patch test reaction (+ to +++) to citral and 82 at least 1 IR patch test reaction and no positive patch test reaction to citral. A statistically significant association between a positive patch test reaction to citral and positive patch test reactions to other fragrances compared with IR reactions (n = 82) was established. The difference regarding fragrance history found between those with IR and positive reactions to citral was not significant. Citral could be an allergen and/or irritant, worthy of further more extensive studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-36
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


  • patch testing
  • fragrance
  • contact irritant
  • citral
  • contact allergen


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