Perfume and Fragrance Allergies
Fragrance allergy is a relatively common condition, estimated to affect approximately 1% of adults and about 1.8% of children and adolescents. Among the various causes of allergic contact dermatitis, fragrance allergy ranks second in prevalence, trailing only behind nickel allergy. Notably, the frequency of positive reactions related to fragrance allergies in dermatology departments has been on the decline, primarily due to reduced usage of oakmoss absolute as a fragrance component.
It’s important to recognize that allergic contact dermatitis occurs with similar frequency among individuals with and without a history of atopic dermatitis. Fragrances, as potential allergens, extend beyond perfumes and cosmetics, encompassing a broad range of products such as personal care items (e.g., body wash, lotions, shampoos, deodorants), household products (e.g., laundry detergents, air fresheners, cleaning agents), and even flavors added to food, drinks, and oral care products. Furthermore, fragrances find their way into workplace chemicals, used to mask unpleasant odors, leading to cases of occupational dermatitis in various professions like hairdressers, chefs, bakers, aromatherapists, and masseurs. Even seemingly unrelated items like topical medicaments, balms, and electronic cigarettes can contain fragrances that pose allergic risks.