Background: Lavender is commonly used in aromatherapy and in a broad range of personal and household products. It has been identified as a contact sensitizer, and has been reported to cause allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).
Objectives: To report our experience with contact allergy and ACD caused by lavender, and to raise awareness of lavender as a potential contact allergen.
Method: A retrospective database review was performed of patients attending patch testing clinics at the Skin and Cancer Foundation, Victoria, Australia, from January 1, 1993 to December 31, 2017.
Results: Among the 2178 patients patch tested with lavender over this period, a total of 58 positive reactions were recorded in 49 individuals, giving a positive patch test prevalence for patients tested with lavender of 2.2%. Twenty-seven patients were diagnosed with ACD. The most common sources of exposure to lavender were personal care products and essential oils. Of the patients with ACD, 74% were tested with lavender absolute, with positive results in 90% of cases.
Conclusion: Lavender is an uncommon cause of ACD but is important to consider, given the potential for exposure through the use of personal care items and essential oils.
Keywords: allergic contact dermatitis; essential oil; face eczema; hand dermatitis; hand eczema; lavender; patch test; sensitization.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.