Background: Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC), a commonly used preservative, is found in industrial and personal care products. Objective: To evaluate prevalence, clinical relevance, occupational relationship, and sources of positive reactions to IPBC in patients in North America. Methods: The North American Contact Dermatitis Group (NACDG) tested IPBC 0.1% and/or 0.5% in petrolatum (pet) between 1998 and 2008. Two patient groups of interest were defined, based on patch-test reactions to IPBC: weak (+) reactors and strong (++ or +++) reactors. Patient characteristics, site(s) of dermatitis, sources of positive reactions, clinical relevance, and occupational relevance to IPBC were tabulated. Results: Of the 25,321 patients tested, there were 226 (0.9%) weak reactors and 67 (0.3%) strong reactors. For IPBC-positive patients, the most frequent sites of dermatitis were scattered generalized distribution, hands, and arms. The majority (> 50%) of currently relevant reactions were to personal care products, and most reactions (> 90%) were not related to occupation. Only four of the strong reactors had definite clinical relevance (positive use-test reaction or positive patch-test reaction to a product containing IPBC). The frequency of positive reactions increased (0.2% vs 1.5%) when the higher concentration of IPBC was utilized, but most (> 64%) were weak reactions, of which some were likely irritant. Conclusions: Allergy to IPBC is relatively uncommon. When clinically relevant, personal care products were the most likely allergen source. Because IPBC is a marginal irritant, caution should be utilized when testing with higher concentrations of IPBC (≥ 0.5% pet) and when interpreting weak (+) reactions. Verification of clinical relevance by use test or repeat patch testing or both is also important.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy