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Few studies have examined the aetiology of eyelid dermatitis across broad demographics. The objectives of this study were (i) to compare the diagnoses of patients with isolated eyelid dermatitis to the diagnoses of patients with additional sites of involvement and (ii) to determine the relevant allergens among patients with allergic eyelid dermatitis. A retrospective analysis of 1215 patients patch tested over 10 years was conducted in this study. Compared to patients without eyelid dermatitis, patients with this entity were more often female. Of the 105 patients with eyelid dermatitis, 43.8% had allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), 36.2% seborrhoeic dermatitis, 11.4% other dermatitis/dermatoses, 7.6% irritant contact dermatitis, 3.8% psoriasis, and 2.9% atopic eczema. With isolated eyelid dermatitis, seborrhoeic dermatitis was the most frequent diagnosis (46.3%) followed by ACD (35.2%). Allergens commonly causing allergic eyelid dermatitis consisted of fragrances, metals, neomycin, oleamidopropyl dimethylamine, tosylamide formaldehyde resin, benzalkonium chloride, and other preservatives. When evaluated according to sites of involvement, seborrhoeic dermatitis was diagnosed most often in patients with isolated eyelid dermatitis, but when dermatitis was distributed to facial or other sites, ACD was the most frequent diagnosis. A majority of the causative allergens for eyelid dermatitis are not present on the Food and Drug Administration-approved panels available in the USA.


Kathani A Amin, Donald V Belsito. The aetiology of eyelid dermatitis: a 10-year retrospective analysis. Contact dermatitis. 2006 Nov;55(5):280-5

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PMID: 17026693

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