Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Topical Preservatives, Part I

J. Desiree Douglas


Dermatology Nursing 

In This Article

Diazolidinyl Urea

Synonyms for Diazolindinyl Urea

  • DU

  • Germall II

  • Germaben II (mixture)

  • N,N1-Bis(hydroxymethyl) urea

  • N-(hydroxymethyl)-N-(1,3-dihydroxymethyl-2,5-dioxo-4-imidazolidinyl)-N1-(hydroxymethyl)urea

Diazolidinyl urea affected 3.7% of patch test patients in 2005–2006 (Zug et al., 2009). This preservative fights against yeasts, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including Pseudomonas (Marks et al., 2002). This is newer than imidazolidinyl urea and some argue is a better preservative because of its broader coverage (Sasseville, 2004). However, diazolidinyl urea is a stronger sensitizer than imidazolidinyl urea (Frosch et al., 2006; Rietschel & Fowler, 2008). There is a high degree of cross-reaction to formaldehyde and a lower cross-reaction associated with imidazolidinyl urea (Maier et al., 2009).

Sources of diazolidinyl urea (Maier et al., 2009; Marks et al., 2002).

  • Cosmetics, hair care products, and body lotions.

  • Baby wipes and moist towelettes.

  • Topical medications (halobetasol [Ultravate® cream]).

  • Barrier creams.

  • Cleaning agents, detergents, and liquid soaps.