Contact dermatitis from fatty alcohols

Antonella Tosti, Colombina Vincenzi, Liliana Guerra, Enza Andrisano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of sensitization to fatty alcohols in a group of patients with suspected cosmetic or medicament contact dermatitis. From May 1992 to September 1995, we patch tested a series of 5 fatty alcohols on 146 patients. These included 108 females and 38 males aged from 13 to 72 years (mean age 42.5). These patients, who had previously been tested with the GIRDCA standard series, were selected because their clinical lesions or histories indicated topical preparations as the possible source of their contact dermatitis. High-grade fatty alcohols (> 99% pure) were used for testing. 34 patients (23.2%), 25 female and 9 male aged from 14 to 72 years, showed a positive patch test to fatty alcohols, 33 of them to oleyl alcohol. A total of 39 reactions were detected with 5 patients showing more than 1 positive reaction. Our results show that sensitization to oleyl alcohol is not rare in patients with contact dermatitis due to cosmetics or topical medicaments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-289
Number of pages3
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Cosmetics
  • Lauryl alcohol
  • Myristyl alcohol
  • Oleyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Topical medicaments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Toxicology
  • Immunology


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