Contact Allergen of the Year: p-Phenylenediamine

Vincent A. DeLeo


Dermatitis. 2006;17(2):53-55. 

In This Article


Although labeling mandated by the Food and Drug Administration has required salons and home users to test oxidative dyes before use, such testing is not always carried out. Recent evidence suggests that such testing should be encouraged as it appears to be predictive and could provide adequate secondary prevention if properly used.[25]

Even more impressive is the development of new hair dyes that contain FD & C and D & C dyes and that appear to have very low levels of cross-reactivity with PPD and its other chemically related oxidative dyes.[26] One of these products, Elumen Hair Color (Goldwell Cosmetics, Linthicum Heights, MD), comes in a range of colors and lasts on the hair for 4 to 6 weeks. Such products are now available in the United States as salon products. We routinely recommend these agents to our PPD-sensitive patients. To safeguard against possible cross-reactivity, we always test with the agents before allowing their use.

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