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Keywords:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis;
  • guinea pig;
  • sensitization;
  • scopoletin;
  • 4 methyl-esculetin structure-activity aspects;
  • coumarins;
  • perfumes

10 coumarins used in perfumery, cosmetics and ointments, have been investigated by 2 different methods to determine their sensitizing capacity. Only I of the compounds, 4-methyl-esculctin, which serves as a sunscreen agent, was found to be a weak sensitizer. All other coumarins were negative. It is assumed that this dihydroxycoumarin becomes a sensitizer when it is enzymically oxidized to the corresponding orthoquinone in the skin.