Contact allergy to isoeugenol and its derivatives: problems with allergen substitution

Susumu Tanaka, C Royds, Christopher D Buckley, D A Basketter, An Goossens, M Bruze, C Svedman, T Menné, J D Johansen, I R White, John P McFadden

31 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 2261 (808 male, 1453 female) consecutive patients attending contact dermatitis clinics were patch tested to isoeugenol and its derivatives listed in the EU Inventory of Fragrance Ingredients. Positive reactions were found to isoeugenol in 40, transisoeugenol in 40, isoeugenyl acetate in 19, isoeugenyl benzoate in 4, isoeugenyl phenylacetate in 16, isoeugenyl methyl ether in 6 and benzyl isoeugenyl ether in 2 patients. There was a concomitant reaction to isoeugenol in 36/40 of those positive to transisoeugenol, 13/19 of those to isoeugenyl acetate, 3/4 of those to isoeugenyl benzoate and 15/16 of those to isoeugenyl phenylacetate but in none of those 6 positive to isoeugenyl methyl ether and in neither of those 2 positive to benzyl isoeugenyl ether. Concomitant contact allergy between isoeugenol and its derivatives may occur through chemical cross-reactivity or local skin metabolism of the derivatives. It is more commonly observed with the esters rather than the ethers. Isoeugenyl acetate has been proposed as an alternative to isoeugenol, but there is a high degree of concomitant reactivity with isoeugenol.

Original languageEnglish
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number5-6
Pages (from-to)288-91
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2004


  • Allergens
  • Benzoates
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact
  • Eugenol
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isomerism
  • Male
  • Methyl Ethers
  • Patch Tests
  • Phenylacetates
  • Journal Article
  • Multicenter Study


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