Photoallergic contact dermatitis caused by ultraviolet filters in different sunscreens


Esther J. H. Collaris, MD Department of Dermatology University Hospital Maastricht P. Debyelaan 25; PO Box 5800 6202 AZ Maastricht the Netherlands E-mail:


Over the last decade, a change in the public awareness regarding the possible danger of excessive sunlight exposure has resulted in an increased consumption of sunscreens. These products contain a broad spectrum of putative sensitizers that can cause contact dermatitis and, upon exposure to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, photocontact dermatitis. Among these sensitizing compounds, UV filters are the most frequent cause of photoallergic reactions. Although rarely observed, we here describe the occurrence of a photoallergic contact dermatitis in a 55-year-old man after the use of two different sunscreens. Photopatch testing showed hypersensitivity reactions of the delayed type against three different chemical UV filters, 4-tert-butyl-4- methoxy-dibenzoylmethane (Parsol 1789), 2-ethylhexyl-p-methoxycinnamate (Parsol MCX), and isoamyl-p-methoxycinnamate (Neoheliopan).