Nail polish was first introduced in 1919 as a solution of collodion, which left a film on drying.1 Numerous technical improvements have now made nail polish a complex product, consisting essentially of a film-forming base, such as nitrocellulose, to which are added various types of resins, solvents, plasticizers, coloring materials and, in some cases, perfume. Sporadic cases of dermatitis due to nail polish were recorded as far back as 1925,2 and it is possible that in the succeeding decade unrecognized examples of this eruption occurred. The situation in regard to the incidence of this dermatitis seems to have changed radically in the past five or six years, and the cases can now be numbered in the hundreds, if not in the thousands. This occurrence in epidemic form makes one suspect that most of these cases are caused by the incorporation of some new ingredient.
KEIL H, VAN DYCK LS. DERMATITIS DUE TO NAIL POLISH: A STUDY OF TWENTY-SIX CASES WITH THE CHIEF ALLERGENIC COMPONENT TOLUENE SULFONAMIDE FORMALDEHYDE RESIN AND RELATED SUBSTANCES. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1944;50(1):39–44. doi:10.1001/archderm.1944.01510130042013
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