British Society of Cutaneous Allergy (BCSA)


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 glucosides.

What is glucosides?

Glucosides (including Decyl glucoside and Lauryl glucoside) are surfactants (foaming agents) frequently used in personal care products such as shampoos and skin cleaning products. They are often found in products marketed for ‘sensitive’ skin.

What are some products that contain glucosides?

  • Shampoos
  • Skin cleansers including facial cleansers, eye make-up removers, hand soaps and shower gels
  • Baby products including shampoos, bath products and wipes
  • Hair dyes and colours
  • Sunscreens.

There are many different glucosides including arachidyl glucoside, C12-20 alkyl glucoside, caprilyl/capryl glucoside, cetearyl glucoside, coco-glucoside, decyl glucoside, ethyl glucoside and lauryl glucoside (also known as lauryl polyglucose).

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 glucosides onto your skin in the future.

If you are allergic to decyl glucoside, avoid sunscreen products containing the UV filter, Tinosorb M® as it is a component of the filter and will not usually be labelled.

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: 2020