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 panthenol.

What is panthenol?

Panthenol has moisturising and conditioning properties and is found in a number of creams, cosmetics and wound healing products.

What are some products that contain panthenol?

  • Shampoo and hair lotions including ketoconazole shampoo
  • Make up
  • Eye make up removers
  • Hand creams
  • Hand gels and foams used in healthcare
  • Deodorants
  • Tanning products
  • Lipsticks
  • Barrier creams
  • Nappy creams including Bepanthol
  • Sunscreens
  • Nail polishes
  • Wound healing products
  • Wet wipes.

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 panthenol onto your skin in the future.

It is also known as D-panthenol, dexpanthenol, pantothenol or provitamin B5.

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: 2019