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STUDIES
Year : 1996  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 220-221

Contactants in 'Kum-Kum' dermatitis




Correspondence Address:
Jagannath V Kumar


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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 20948058

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  Abstract 

Twenty patients having contact dermatitis on the forehead due to Kum-Kum were patch tested with the commercially available Kum-Kum used by the patient as such, and also the extended European standard series of allergens, as well as brilliant lake red R, sudan I, aminoazobenzene and canaga oil since analysis of the Kum-Kum by thin-layer chromatography showed presence of these constituents. Patch tests were positive in all the patients with the commercial Kum-Kum and brilliant lake red R, sudan I, aminoazobenzene and canaga oil, but not with the extended European standard series of allergens.


Keywords: Contact dermatitis, Patch tests, Thin layer chromatography


How to cite this article:
Kumar JV, Moideen R, Murugesh S B. Contactants in 'Kum-Kum' dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1996;62:220-1

How to cite this URL:
Kumar JV, Moideen R, Murugesh S B. Contactants in 'Kum-Kum' dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1996 [cited 2019 Nov 18];62:220-1. Available from: http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?1996/62/4/220/4395



  Introduction Top


Kum-Kum (also called 'sindhoor' or 'tilak') are coloured cosmetics applied to the forehead by Indian women for socio-religious purposes. Kum-Kum is held in high esteem by the South Indians, especially the married women who apply it on their forehead as a sign of their marital status and these cosmetics are sold as powders or liquids.

In olden days Kum-Kum was prepared at home by treating powdered turmeric with alum, but with the advent of synthetic chemicals the household Kum-Kum has been replaced by a variety of dyes.[1] To date, knowledge of the constituents of Kum-Kum for patch testing is very limited.[2] The purpose of this work was to study the frequent sensitizers in various types of coloured Kum-Kum commonly used in India.


  Materials and Methods Top


Twenty consecutive cases of Kum-Kum dermatitis attending the Contact and Allergy Clinic of Dermatology and Venereology outpatient department were studied. Detailed history regarding duration of Kum-Kum application, dermatitis and other sites affected were recorded.

Among the cases of Kum-Kum dermattitis duration of Kum-Kum application varied from 1 month to 25 years. Nine patients were found to be using powder Kum-Kum, 6 using liquid Kum-Kum, 5 using both powder and liquid Kum-Kum.

Kum-Kum used by the patient as such and a refill pack of Kum-Kum available in the market were analysed by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and it was found to contain brilliant lake red R, sudan I, aminoazobenzene and canaga oil.

Patch testing in 20 patients, aged between 25 to 45 years, was done on the back with Kum-Kum used by the patient and extended European standard series of allergens obtained from Chemotechnique Diagnostics, AB Sweden. In all these cases, brilliant lake red R, sudan I, aminoazobenzene and canaga oil were incorporated in the patch test tray.

The standard patch testing technique with indigenous Finn chambers was used.[3] Reactions were scored as recommended by International Contact Dermatitis Research Group.


  Results Top


Positive patch test reactions of various intensity were obtained to patient's Kum-Kum as such, brilliant lake red R, sudan I and aminoazobenzene in all the 20 cases [Table - 1] and none of the patients showed a positive patch test reaction to extended European standard series of allergens.


  Discussion Top


Contact dermatitis to Kum-Kum is a common cosmetic problem. It presents as erythema, papular and vesicular lesions at the site of Kum-Kum on forehead, near the hair margin, and on the surrounding skin where it may trickle with sweat.[4] the Kum-Kum available in the market presumably contains many agents which can cause contact dermatitis.[5]

Most Kum-Kum are made in India and the constituents are unknown. We were unable to obtain from the manufactures the constituents of Kum-Kum for patch testing. The present study implicates brilliant lake red R, sudan I, aminoazobenzene and canaga oil in the Kum-Kum material for production of the dermatitis.

Only some women develop dermatitis, though the Kum-Kum is used by the majority. This could be explained by either individual susceptability or constant use for a prolonged period. Only red Kum-Kum appeared to sensitize and cause contact dermatitis. The reason might be that red Kum-Kum are more commonly used as compared with other Kum-Kums and that probably only red Kum-Kums contain the high percentage of sensitizers that cause allergic contact dermatitis.

Restriction of the use of brilliant lake red R, sudan I, aminoazobenzene and canaga oil in the manufacture of Kum-Kum is recommended as these chemicals are commonly used in the manufacture of Kum-Kum in India, and we also recommend to. incorporate these in the extended European standard series of allergens or tested separately by the Indian Dermatologist along with the extended European series of allergens.

 
  References Top

1.Purnima VP, Muthuswamy TC, Thomas J. Patch tests in Kum-Kum dermatitis. Ind J Dermatol Venerol Leprol 1986;52:94.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Goh CL, Kozuka T. Pigmented contact dermatitis from Kum-Kum Clin Exp Dermatol 1988;11:603-6.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Kaur S, Sharma VK. Indigenous patch test unit resembling Finn chamber. Ind J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1988;52:332-6.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Kumar AS, Pandhi RK, Bhutani LK. Bindi dermatoses. Int J Dermatol 1988;25:434-5.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Pasricha JS. Contact dermatitis caused by cosmetics. In: Contact dermatitis in India. 1988:74-5.  Back to cited text no. 5    


    Tables

[Table - 1]



 

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