Berlocque dermatitis is frequently caused by bergamot or other citrus oil applications on the skin (often due to their inclusion in eau de Cologne) followed by exposure to UV light. This effect is caused by psolarens or furanocoumarins (Klarmann, 1958). Citrus essential oils labeled FCF have no photo-toxic effect, but are suspected carcinogens (Young et al., 1990). Other phototoxic essential oils include yarrow and angelica, neroli, petitgrain, cedarwood, rosemary, cassia, calamus, cade, eucalyptus (species not stated), orange, anise, bay, bitter almond, ylang ylang, carrot seed, and linaloe (the latter probably due to linalool, which, like citronellol, has a sensitizing methylene group exposed) (Guin, 1995). Photosensitizer oils include cumin, rue, dill, sandalwood, lemon (oil and expressed), lime (oil and expressed), opoponax, and verbena (the latter being frequently adulterated) (Klarmann, 1958). Even celery soup eaten before UV irradiation has been known to cause severe sunburn (Boffa et al., 1996).
Many of these photosensitizers are now banned or restricted. New International Fragrance Research Association (IFRA) proposals for some phototoxic essential oils include rue oil to be 0.15% maximum in consumer products, marigold oil and absolute to be 0.01%, and petitgrain mandarin oil to be 0.165%.
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