Essential Oils, Part I: Introduction

Dermatitis. 2016 Mar-Apr;27(2):39-42. doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000175.


Essential oils are widely used in the flavor, food, fragrance, and cosmetic industries in many applications. Contact allergy to them is well known and has been described for 80 essential oils. The relevance of positive patch test reactions often remains unknown. Knowledge of the chemical composition of essential oils among dermatologists is suspected to be limited, as such data are published in journals not read by the dermatological community. Therefore, the authors have fully reviewed and published the literature on contact allergy to and chemical composition of essential oils. Selected topics from this publication will be presented in abbreviated form in Dermatitis starting with this issue, including I. Introduction; II. General aspects; III. Chemistry; IV. General aspects of contact allergy; V. Peppermint oil, lavender oil and lemongrass oil; VI: Sandalwood oil, ylang-ylang oil, and jasmine absolute.

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Oils, Volatile / adverse effects*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry


  • Oils, Volatile