British Society of Cutaneous Allergy (BCSA)

Epoxy resin

What are the aims of this patient information leaflet?

This leaflet has been written to help you understand more about your contact allergy. It tells you what a contact allergy is, what causes this allergy and what you can do about it.

What is contact allergy?

Dermatitis, also known as eczema, describes a type of inflammation of the skin. Contact dermatitis or contact eczema is a term used when this inflammation is caused by direct or indirect skin contact with something in your environment. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when your immune system causes allergy to a very specific chemical or substance that has been in contact with the skin.

What causes your specific allergy?

Your patch tests indicate that you have a contact allergy to epoxy resin.

What is epoxy resin?

Epoxy resins are chemicals used to make plastics and glues. They are widely used in the electrical, building and manufacturing industries.

What are some products that contain epoxy resin?

  • Some vinyl gloves
  • Two-part glues such as Araldite
  • Manufacturing circuit boards and electrical insulation
  • Building materials such as grouts, mortars and fixings
  • Flooring products
  • Paints and printing inks
  • Glass fibre composites in car and aircraft manufacture
  • Model making and tooling
  • Construction panels for garage doors, cladding, roofing
  • Lining and coatings of cans used for drink, food and hairspray
  • Manufacturing sports rackets, surfboards, helmets
  • Coil coatings for electrical appliances
  • Sealing paintings and art work
  • Boat building and repair, lining of cargo tanks, underwater hulls.

Remember, always check the label, these lists can never be complete and ingredients change.

How can I manage my allergy?

This means that you should avoid putting products containing epoxy resin onto your skin in the future.

To protect your hands wear nitrile gloves but remember to change your gloves frequently. Some types of gloves, such as latex and neoprene, will not actually protect you from epoxy resin.

Epoxy resins do not cause problems when fully set. Some people call this hardened or cured. Most problems with epoxy resins occur at work if you are exposed to the ingredients of a glue or plastic. This is when the epoxy resin has not yet set (uncured or not fully hardened resins).

Self-care (what can I do?)

Always check the ingredient listing on the product, package or package insert as these lists can never be complete and ingredients change. This is particularly important for any products purchased outside the EU where some allergens may not be banned.

Created: 2016