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December 1973

Allergic Reaction to Feminine Hygiene Sprays

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York.

Arch Dermatol. 1973;108(6):801-802. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620270027006

Feminine hygiene sprays consist of perfume, an emollient and a propellant. With the ban on hexachlorophene, most sprays no longer contain any antibacterial agents. Allergic reactions to the ingredients of the sprays are rare, usually occurring in patients with miliaria, intertrigo, molilaliasis, or seborrheic eczema in the inguinal or perineal area. Three cases of allergic reactions to bacteriostats are reported, two from benzethonium chloride, and one from chlorhexidine. Perfume in one instance and the emollient, isopropyl myristate, in another, produced an allergic contact dermatitis. Irritant reactions from the chilling effect of fluorinated hydrocarbon propellants due to the application of the spray too closely to the vulvar area, are much more common than are reactions of the allergic variety.

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