Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) from isothiazolinones has frequently been described in the literature. Following an epidemic of sensitization to methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) in the 1980s, and more recently to MI, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety of the European Commission banned their use in leave‐on products, while restricting that in rinse‐off cosmetics.
Despite a decreasing prevalence of ACD from MCI/MI and MI, cases caused by occupational exposure and non‐cosmetic isothiazolinone sources are on the rise. Moreover, sensitization to newer and lesser known isothiazolinones has been reported.
This paper reviews the epidemiology of contact allergy to different isothiazolinones, clinical presentation of isothiazolinone‐induced ACD, most relevant sensitization sources and potential cross‐reactions between isothiazolinone derivatives. It also provides an update on recent legislative measures.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2019 Feb;33(2):267-276.