Contact and photocontact allergy to octocrylene: a review

Contact Dermatitis. 2014 Apr;70(4):193-204. doi: 10.1111/cod.12205.


Octocrylene is an ultraviolet (UV)B and UVAII absorber that was introduced some 15 years ago, and is now widely used in sunscreen agents and skin care cosmetics. Since 2003, several studies, notably from France, Belgium, Spain, and Italy, have reported an increasing number of patients with photocontact allergy to octocrylene. This reaction is seen mainly in adult patients who have previously used topical products containing the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ketoprofen. Photosensitization to ketoprofen leads, in many cases, to photocontact allergy to octocrylene; the mechanism of this reaction is unknown. Contact allergy to octocrylene also occurs, but is far less frequent, and is seen, in most cases, in children, resulting from the use of octocrylene-containing sunscreen products. In this article, (photo)contact allergy to octocrylene is fully reviewed.

Keywords: UVA-absorber; UVB-absorber; benzophenone-3; contact allergy; ketoprofen; octocrylene; photo-cross-reactivity; photocontact allergy; photopatch tests; sunscreen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrylates / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Photoallergic / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Ketoprofen / adverse effects
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / complications
  • Sunscreening Agents / adverse effects*


  • Acrylates
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • octocrylene
  • Ketoprofen