This prospective study (1977-1980) of cosmetic adverse reactions by eleven dermatologists identified 487 cases of cosmetic-induced dermatitis. Approximately half of the cases were covert in nature. Eighty percent were due to allergic contact dermatitis; the face, eye, and upper arm were the most involved sites. Skin care products, hair preparations (including colors), and facial makeup products were the most commonly involved product categories. Fragrances, preservatives, lanolin and lanolin derivatives, p-phenylenediamine, and propylene glycol were the most commonly identified causative agents. The data may not be representative of the country at large because of the special interests of the dermatologists involved.
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