Rise in skin rashes blamed on preservative

DERMATOLOGISTS are urging GPs to be on the lookout for allergic reactions to a common preservative in cosmetics and household products, as Australia is gripped by a growing “epidemic”.

The rate of methylisothiazolinone (MI) allergic dermatitis has grown significantly since 2005, particularly in the last four years, and now accounts for about 25% of all presentations to skin patch clinics, says Associate Professor Rosemary Nixon, a dermatologist at Melbourne’s Skin and Cancer Foundation.

Professor Nixon says this is the biggest bump in allergic contact dermatitis she’s seen