Allergy to cosmetic preservative Methylisothiazolinone

October 20, 2013 5:39 pm

There is a rise in patients who are sensitised to Methyl isothiazolinone (MI), it is a commonly used preservative in many creams, shampoos and cosmetics (also called Kathon CG) found in Nivea and Clarins cosmetic products.  It’s been around a while and was used in a more dilute format together with another preservative Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)

Many manufacturers have dropped the “chloro” combination and add a higher dose of MI alone (almost 25 times more potent) and hence the rise in skin reactions subsequently seen. These include skin redness, itching and blistering. The reactions are often delayed by 24 to 48 hours after application. People with sensitive skin and those with contact dermatitis are more likely to react; particularly those sensitive to Lanolin (wool alcohol), costume jewellery, sticking plasters and shoe dyes.  The European pharmaceutical industry legislation which has allowed this switching should be addressed.  MI should be used in a more dilute format even if this means reintroducing a combination with MCI.  The TRUE skin patch test for contact dermatitis includes MI and MCI as one of the 24 contact allergens tested, a very useful test which is available in our clinic.

Tags: , , ,

Categorised in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *