UK trends of allergic occupational skin disease attributed to fragrances 1996-2015

Rachel Montgomery, Raymond Agius, Mark Wilkinson, Melanie Carder

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Abstract

Fragrances are well known to cause allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Occupationally related cases occur, with certain groups being at higher risk.

OBJECTIVE:
To investigate the incidence of occupationally related cases of cutaneous fragrance allergy and to evaluate trends.

METHOD:
Data on incident cases of occupational ACD caused by fragrances between 1996 and 2015 (inclusive) reported to the EPIDERM surveillance scheme were analysed.

RESULTS:
Of the cases reported to EPIDERM during the study period, 5.2% had ACD attributed to fragrances. The highest annual incidence rates were observed in women. Hairdressers, beauticians and people working in related occupations had a 47-fold higher incidence rate ratio than the reference category (the average of all other occupations combined). Trends analysis suggested a non-significant increase in fragrance allergy over the study period among all occupations, and beauty and food workers, and a slight decrease in healthcare workers.

CONCLUSIONS:
Fragrance allergy is a significant problem in an occupational setting. Although there was no significant change in the incidence of fragrance-related allergic occupational contact dermatitis (OCD) during the 20-year study period, this does not mirror the trend in OCD, which is falling. Fragrance allergy continues to be a major contributor to OCD, and contributes to a greater proportion of cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
JournalContact dermatitis
Volume78
Issue number1
Early online date27 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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