Contact and photocontact allergy to octocrylene: a review


  • Financial disclosure: Anton de Groot is a paid consultant to Consumer Exposure Skin Effects and Surveillance (CESES), a Dutch Cosmetovigilance system monitoring side-effects of cosmetics in The Netherlands, initiated and executed by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment by order of and sponsored by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.


Octocrylene is an ultraviolet (UV)B and UVAII absorber that was introduced some 15 years ago, and is now widely used in sunscreen agents and skin care cosmetics. Since 2003, several studies, notably from France, Belgium, Spain, and Italy, have reported an increasing number of patients with photocontact allergy to octocrylene. This reaction is seen mainly in adult patients who have previously used topical products containing the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ketoprofen. Photosensitization to ketoprofen leads, in many cases, to photocontact allergy to octocrylene; the mechanism of this reaction is unknown. Contact allergy to octocrylene also occurs, but is far less frequent, and is seen, in most cases, in children, resulting from the use of octocrylene-containing sunscreen products. In this article, (photo)contact allergy to octocrylene is fully reviewed.