Sensitizing potential of triclosan and triclosan-based skin care products in patients with chronic eczema

Dermatol Ther. 2008 Oct;21 Suppl 2:S35-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2008.00231.x.


Triclosan is a lypophilic chlorophenol biocide with broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal activity. Triclosan-based topical products have been shown to be tolerated and beneficial in atopic dermatitis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitizing potential of triclosan and triclosan-based creams in patients affected by eczematous dermatitis. Two hundred and seventy-five patients affected by chronic eczema (allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis) were patch tested with standard patch test series as well as triclosan and triclosan-based products. Standard patch test series resulted positive in 164 patients (61%), with nickel sulfate, house dust mites, fragrance mix, propolis, thimerosal, myroxylon pereira, potassium dichromate, wool alcohols, and p-phenylenediamine the most common sensitizing haptens. Only two patients developed positive reactions to triclosan (0.7%) and four (1.4%) to triclosan-based products. The present study's results confirm that triclosan is well tolerated and has a very low sensitizing potential even in high-risk patients affected by eczema.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / immunology
  • Eczema / drug therapy*
  • Eczema / immunology
  • Emollients / administration & dosage
  • Emollients / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Haptens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patch Tests
  • Triclosan / administration & dosage*
  • Triclosan / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Emollients
  • Haptens
  • Triclosan