Bulletin de la Société belge d'ophtalmologie issue:292 pages:11-7
PURPOSE: To determine the most important causes of contact allergic reactions on the eyes and eyelids. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This retrospective study provides an analysis of patch-test results obtained in a population of 1554 patients suffering from conjunctivitis and/or dermatitis on the eyelids, out of a total population of 9035 patients investigated for contact allergy between January 1990 and October 2003. If indicated, also prick testing with a latex extract was performed. RESULTS: 864 (56%) of the patients with eye- and/or eyelid-involvement presented with a positive reaction to at least one of the contact allergens tested. The main sensitisation sources were topical pharmaceutical products (antibiotics, corticosteroids), cosmetics (fragrance components, preservatives, emulsifiers, hair-care and nail products), metals (nickel), rubber derivatives, resins (e.g. epoxy resin), and plants. Also latex-allergy (immediate-type sensitivity presenting as a contact-urticaria syndrome) was a frequent finding in such patients. CONCLUSION: Contact allergy is a common cause of eyelid dermatitis in particular and the allergens may reach the skin in many different ways.