The epidemic of methylisothiazolinone: A European prospective study

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Background: The use of methylisothiazolinone (MI) in cosmetic products has caused an unprecedented epidemic of MI contact allergy. Current data concerning exposures at a European level are required. Objectives: To describe demographics and MI exposures for European patients with MI contact allergy. Methods: Eleven European dermatology departments from eight European countries prospectively collected data between 1 May and 31 October 2015 among consecutive patients who had positive patch test reactions to MI (2000ppm aq.). Results: A total of 6.0% (205/3434; range 2.6-13.0%) of patients had positive patch test reactions to MI. Dermatitis most frequently affected the hands (43.4%), face (32.7%), arms (14.6%), and eyelids (11.7%); 12.7% had widespread dermatitis. For 72.7% (149/205), MI contact allergy was currently relevant mainly because of exposure to cosmetic products (83.2%; 124/149). Of these 124 patients, 19.5% were exposed to leave-on and rinse-off cosmetic products, 24.8% only to leave-on cosmetic products and 38.9% only to rinse-off cosmetic products containing MI or methylchloroisothiazolinone/MI. The majority of these (79%) noted onset of their dermatitis between 2013 and 2015. Fifteen patients (7.3%) had previously experienced allergic reactions when they were in newly painted rooms. Conclusion: Clinically relevant MI contact allergy remains prevalent across European countries, mainly because of exposure to rinse-off and leave-on cosmetic products.


  • Jakob F. Schwensen
  • Wolfgang Uter
  • Magnus Bruze
  • Cecilia Svedman
  • An Goossens
  • Mark Wilkinson
  • Ana Giménez Arnau
  • Margarida Gonçalo
  • Klaus E. Andersen
  • Evy Paulsen
  • Tove Agner
  • Caterina Foti
  • Kristiina Aalto-Korte
  • John Mcfadden
  • Ian White
  • Jeanne D. Johansen
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • University Hospitals Leuven
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • University of Coimbra
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • Bispebjerg Hospital
  • University of Bari Aldo Moro
  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
  • St John's Institute of Dermatology

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Dermatologi och venereologi


Sidor (från-till)272-279
TidskriftContact Dermatitis
StatusPublished - 2017
Peer review utfördJa