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.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.