Contact dermatitis from the old formula E45 cream

T L Batten, R A Wakeel, W.S. Douglas, C Evans, Marion White, R Moody, Anthony Ormerod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In the past 4 years, a high incidence (118/362) of positive patch test reactions to E45 cream were noted in 2 patch testing clinics. 18/54 of those patch tested to all the ingredients demonstrated allergies to ingredients. The most frequent was triethanolamine; lanolin allergy occurring in only 1 patient. The remaining reactions may be explained as irritant reactions resulting from triethanolamine stearate (TES) formation within the cream. The irritancy of triethanolamine stearate was demonstrated in patients and controls. Conductivity studies showed that TES arises from the combination of the ingredients triethanolamine and stearic acid. The formulation of E45 cream was being changed at the time of writing, with the removal of triethanolamine from the product.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-161
Number of pages3
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1994


  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact
  • Dermatitis, Irritant
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Emollients
  • Ethanolamines
  • Humans
  • Methanol
  • Stearic Acids
  • E45 cream
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Triethanolamine
  • Glyceryl monostearate
  • Stearic Acid
  • Parabens
  • Lanolin
  • False-positive patch test reactions
  • Triethanolamine stearate
  • Compund irritancy
  • Medicaments


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