Periorbital dermatitis in 4779 patients - patch test results during a 10-year period

Contact Dermatitis. 2014 Apr;70(4):205-12. doi: 10.1111/cod.12157. Epub 2013 Dec 11.


Background: The thinness of the periorbital skin may facilitate allergen penetration, making this area particularly susceptible to sensitization.

Material and methods: For the cross-sectional study, data were collected by the 57 participating centres of the Information Network of Departments of Dermatology. A total of 101 403 patients patch tested between January 2001 and December 2010 were included. Of these, 4779 patients suffered from periorbital dermatitis.

Results: Two major subgroups with different general epidemiological data and sensitization to specific allergens have to be considered: (i) young females with increased rates of skin atopy and allergies, particularly from cosmetic and skin care products; and (ii) older subjects with allergy to topical medications. The prevalence of sensitization to ophthalmic allergens is generally less than that to environmental allergens.

Conclusions: Allergic contact dermatitis is a leading cause of periorbital dermatitis. Patch testing should be considered in all patients with periorbital dermatitis when contact allergy is suspected, in order to identify and avoid offending allergens.

Keywords: allergy; antibiotics; patch testing; periorbital dermatitis; preservatives.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Ophthalmic
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cosmetics / adverse effects*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / chemically induced*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Contact / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / etiology
  • Facial Dermatoses / chemically induced*
  • Facial Dermatoses / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritants / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Nickel / adverse effects
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Orbit
  • Patch Tests
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cosmetics
  • Irritants
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical
  • nickel sulfate
  • Nickel