Allergic contact dermatitis from propolis

Susan E. Walgrave, Erin M. Warshaw, Lynn A. Glesne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Propolis is commonly used in cosmetic and medicinal preparations because of its antiseptic, antiinflammatory, and anesthetic properties. Its therapeutic qualities have been well documented. However, 1.2 to 6.6% of patients who are patch-tested for dermatitis are sensitive to propolis. The main allergens are 3-methyl-2-butenyl caffeate and phenylethyl caffeate. Benzyl salicylate and benzyl cinnamate are less frequent sensitizers. Propolis is found in a number of "natural" products, including lip balms, cosmetics, lotions and ointments, shampoos, conditioners, and toothpastes. Dermatologists should consider patch testing with propolis in users of such remedies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

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