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Background. Isopropyl alcohol is a secondary alcohol, a structural isomer of propanol, that is widely used as an industrial solvent and as a preservative and antiseptic in the clinical environment. It is known to be a mild irritant for the eyes and mucous membranes, but is considered to be a weak and infrequent sensitizer. Objectives. To show that isopropyl alcohol should be considered as a potential allergen in patients with eczema who have contact with this substance. Materials and methods. We present a series of 1450 patients patch tested with isopropyl alcohol during the period 1992-2011. Results. Forty-four patients showed an allergic response to isopropyl alcohol. Four cases presented as occupational hand eczema. Fourteen cases were seen in patients with leg ulcers. Twenty-six patients presented with eczematous lesions following the use of products containing isopropyl alcohol to disinfect previous skin lesions. Eighty-four per cent of the patients showed sensitization to three or more allergens. Relevance was present in 84% of the patients. Conclusions. We report here the first large case series of contact allergy to isopropyl alcohol, which demonstrates that sensitization to this substance might not be as uncommon as previously thought.
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Complex of Vigo, 36209 Pontevedra, Spain Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, K.U. Leuven, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium Private Dermatologist, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Contact dermatitis
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A contact dermatitis due to allergic sensitization to various substances. These substances subsequently produce inflammatory reactions in the skin of those who have acquired hypersensitivity to them as a result of prior exposure.
A non-allergic contact dermatitis caused by prolonged exposure to irritants and not explained by delayed hypersensitivity mechanisms.
A type of acute or chronic skin reaction in which sensitivity is manifested by reactivity to materials or substances coming in contact with the skin. It may involve allergic or non-allergic mechanisms.
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