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Benzalkonium Chloride

This patient information on Benzalkonium Chloride is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.

The results from your patch testing showed a positive reaction (contact allergy) to Benzalkonium Chloride. Your immune system reacts with its defense mechanisms with each exposure of Benzalkonium Chloride to your skin. It is unknown why certain individuals develop allergic sensitivities. In some it may take repeat exposures over long periods of time before an allergy develops. Once you have become sensitized (allergic) your immune system always "remembers" and you will be Benzalkonium chloride sensitive. If you currently have eczema this chemical may be the cause but other factors may play a role as well. The information below will help you avoid this allergen.

This chemical is most commonly used as a preoperative skin disinfectant and as preservative in eye medications and solutions.

Where is chemical found?

Antiseptic detergents
Burn and ulcer treatment
Disinfectant for surgical instruments
Hair conditioners
Laundry detergents
Medicated paper tissues
Eye solutions
Paper products
Preoperative skin disinfectant
Softeners for textiles

Hints on avoiding chemical:

Choose products listed only your personalized Contact Allergen Database, which has been provided to you. Products listed on you Contact Allergen Resource Database will be free of Benzalkonium Chloride and safe to use.
Please be aware that if your spouse or significant other uses topical skin care products that contain this chemical skin-to-skin transfer may occur to you.
It may take 2 to 3 weeks of avoiding exposure before improvement of your eruption begins.
Inform your health care provider about your allergy.

Other names you may see this preservative:

Alkyl benzyl dimethylammonium chloride
Alkyl dimethyl benzylammonium chloride
Zephiran chloride

Possible Occupational exposures:



© John "Lucky" Meisenheimer, M.D.  2012                                   WWW.OrlandoSkinDoc.com