The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of sensitization to toluene sulfonamide-formaldehyde resin (TSFR) in women who had contact dermatitis and had used nail polishes. From January of 1987 to September of 1992, 888 consecutive women who had contact dermatitis were patch tested with TSFR, 10% in petrolatum. Fifty-nine patients (6.6%) showed a positive patch test reaction to the resin. TSFR sensitization was always relevant to either the patient's presenting or to a past skin condition. Twelve of these 59 patients were also patch tested with their dried personal nail polishes and 11 had positive patch test reactions. Our results show that TSFR is one of the most common sources of sensitization from cosmetic products (6.6%). In our experience, TSFR should always be tested on subjects who use nail cosmetics because neither the history nor the clinical features are sufficient criteria for excluding or suggesting a diagnosis.
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