Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription.
  • If you are a subscriber, please sign in 'My Account' at the top right of the screen.

  • If you want to subscribe to this journal, see our rates

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 46, n° 2
pages 309-312 (février 2002)
Doi : 10.1067/mjd.2002.119104
Allergic contact dermatitis to topical minoxidil solution: Etiology and treatment

Edward S. Friedman, BS, Paul M. Friedman, MD, David E. Cohen, MD MPH, Ken Washenik, MD, PhD
Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine. New York, New York 


After more than a decade of use, topical minoxidil solution has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for androgenetic alopecia. However, some patients present with complaints of pruritus and scaling of the scalp. The most common causes of these symptoms include irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, or an exacerbation of seborrheic dermatitis. Patients suffering from allergic contact dermatitis may benefit from patch testing to determine the causative allergen. Among the patients we patch tested, propylene glycol was found to be the contactant in a majority of cases, not the minoxidil itself. Many of these patients may be candidates for treatment with alternative formulations using other solvents, such as butylene glycol, polysorbate, or glycerol. Although predictive, patch testing results do not ensure that the compounded preparations will be tolerated. Unfortunately, patients found to be allergic to minoxidil are no longer candidates for topical treatment of their alopecia with any preparations of minoxidil. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2002;46:309-12.)

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 Funding: None.
 Conflict of interest: None.
 Reprints not available from authors.

© 2002  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS@@#104157@@