Background: The prevalence of sensitization to fragrance mix (FM) I and Myroxylon pereirae (MP, balsam of Peru) has decreased in recent years among Danish women with dermatitis.
Objectives: This study investigated whether the decrease could be confirmed among women in the general population. Furthermore, it addressed the morbidity of FM I sensitization.
Methods: In 1990, 1998 and 2006, 4299 individuals aged 18-69 years (18-41 years only in 1998) completed a premailed questionnaire and were patch tested to FM I and MP. Data were analysed by logistic regression analyses and associations were expressed as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: The prevalence of FM I and MP sensitization followed an inverted V-pattern among women aged 18-41 years (i.e. an increase from 1990 to 1998, followed by a decrease from 1998 to 2006). Logistic regression analyses showed that 'medical consultation due to cosmetic dermatitis' (OR 3.37, 95% CI 1.83-6.20) and 'cosmetic dermatitis within the past 12 months' (OR 3.53, CI 2.02-6.17) were significantly associated with sensitization to FM I.
Conclusions: In line with trends observed in Danish patients with dermatitis, our results supported a recent decrease in the prevalence of FM I and MP sensitization in Denmark. The study also showed that fragrance sensitization was associated with self-reported cosmetic dermatitis and use of health care related to cosmetic dermatitis.