International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
 Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
  Home | About IJT | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Online submission | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact us | Login   

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-44  

Allergic contact dermatitis to superglue

Department of Dermatology, PSGIMSR, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication6-Jul-2013

Correspondence Address:
L Sornakumar
Department of Dermatology, PSGIMSR, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.114712

Rights and Permissions

Wigs are commonly used to cover baldness. A 28 year old male presented with itchy oozy eythematous lesions on the forehead where the wig was afixed to the scalp. Patch testing with indian standard seies and dental series revealed positivity to 2-hydroxy ethyl meta acrylate present in superglue. We report this case for its clinical rarity.

Keywords: Patch test, superglue, wig

How to cite this article:
Sornakumar L, Shanmugasekar C, Rai R, Priya S. Allergic contact dermatitis to superglue. Int J Trichol 2013;5:43-4

How to cite this URL:
Sornakumar L, Shanmugasekar C, Rai R, Priya S. Allergic contact dermatitis to superglue. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Jun 6];5:43-4. Available from: https://www.ijtrichology.com/text.asp?2013/5/1/43/114712

   Introduction Top

Wigs are cosmetic devices used to cover baldness. Cyanoacrylate (CA) is used as adhesives in wigs. CA and its homologous variants have a variety of medical, dental, and commercial applications as adhesives. We present a case of allergic contact dermatitis due to polymethymethoacrylate which is used as an adhesive to fix the wig.

   Case Report Top

A 28-year-old man who was using wig for androgenic alopecia presented with itchy, oozy erythematous plaque on the anterior hair line since 3 months [Figure 1]. Patient used superglue to fix the wig to the scalp. The lesions were restricted to the area where adhesive was used to fix the wig. A diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis to superglue was made.
Figure 1: Erythematous plaque on the anterior hair line

Click here to view

The patient was patch tested with Indian Standard Series, Dental series (Chemotechnique Diagnostics, Vellinge, Sweden) which contained the acrylates series. An open patch test with the superglue was done to the patient. The readings were taken at 48 and 72 h. He developed a positive (1+) allergic reaction to 2-hydroxyethyl methaacrylate [Figure 2] in dental series and superglue. Biopsy showed evidence of chronic lymphocytic spongiotic dermatitis. The patient was advised to abstain from using the wig and treated with topical steroids. The lesions subsided after 2 weeks.
Figure 2: Positive (1+) allergic reaction to 2‑hydroxyethyl metha‑acrylate

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

CAs were first described in 1949 and their potential as adhesives was quickly recognized. [1] Various homologues of CA adhesive have been studied and used, including methyl-CAs, ethyl-CAs (ECAs), isobutyl-CAs, isohexyl-CAs, and octyl-CAs. Commercial CA adhesive or "superglue" now has widespread use as an all-purpose adhesive in various industries and around the home.

CA adhesive is a compound synthesized by condensation of a cyanoacetate with formaldehyde in the presence of a catalyst. [2] The application of an adhesive film of CA develops by rapid polymerization (5-60 s), triggered by hydroxyl groups on the surface to be glued. [3] Water can act as a catalyst to activate this anionic polymerization. [3]

The wigs are usually fixed to the scalp using the adhesive glue which is a mixture of ECA 90.6%, hydroquionone 0.4%, polymethymethoacrylate (2-hydroxyethyl metha-acrylate) 9.0%, and traces of organic sulfonic acid. Although reactions to CA glues are considered rare, more widespread use of these products by nail salons are likely to be associated with an increased incidence of positive reactions.

For patients suspected of allergy to plastics and glues, patch testing with specialized series of plastics and glues allergens is an important adjunct to patch testing with baseline series. [4]

The patterns of concomitant reactions imply that exposure to methacrylates may induce cross-reactivity to acrylates, whereas exposure to acrylates usually does not lead to cross-allergy to methacrylates. [5]

Allergic reactions to CA glues are considered unlikely because of the immediate bonding of the acrylate to surface keratin. When contact dermatitis is suspected, the monomer may polymerize on Finn chambers and give false negative reactions. Suspension in petrolatum retards the polymerization and allows the use of Finn chambers to detect the allergy. Tomb et al.'s [6] reported finger and eyelid dermatitis from occupational use of ECA used to glue on artificial hairs.

Our patient had dermatitis limited to the site where adhesives were used to fix the wig. The presence of positive patch test reaction to acrylates and the subsidence of lesions after abstaining the use of wig confirmed our diagnosis. This case is reported to highlight the workup required if any case of wig dermatitis is suspected.

   References Top

1.Belsito DV. Contact dermatitis to ethyl-cyanoacrylate-containing glue. Contact Dermatitis 1987;17:234-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Kilpikari J, Lapinsuo M, Törmälä P, Pätiälä H, Rokkanen P. Bonding strength of alkyl-2-cyanoacrylates to bone in vitro. J Biomed Mater Res 1986;20:1095-102.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Causton BE. Medical and dental adhesives. In: Cahn RW, Haasen P, Kramer EJ, editors. Materials Science and Technology: A Comprehensive Treatment. Medical and Dental Materials. Vol. 14. New York: VCH Publishers Inc. 1992; p. 291-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Shmidt E, Farmer SA, Davis MD. Patch-testing with plastics and glues series allergens. Dermatitis 2010;21:269-74.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Aalto-Korte K, Alanko K, Kuuliala O, Jolanki R. Occupational methacrylate and acrylate allergy from glues. Contact Dermatitis 2008;58:340-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Tomb RR, Lepoittevin JP, Durepaire F, Grosshans E. Ectopic contact dermatitis from ethyl cyanoacrylate instant adhesives. Contact Dermatitis 1993;28:206-8.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Tooth adornment among siblings living in an urban slum in Nigeria: Health implications for a vulnerable population
Mary E. Osuh, Olaide H. Oyaniran, Tobi S. Tunde-Alao, Folake B. Lawal, Gbemisola A. Oke, Jackson I. Osuh, Bronwyn Harris, Yen-Fu Chen, Richard J. Lilford
Clinical Case Reports. 2023; 11(1)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Scalp Associated With Scalp Applied Products: A Systematic Review of Topical Allergens
Christine T. Pham, Margit Juhasz, Jessica Lin, Kiana Hashemi, Golara Honari, Natasha Atanaskova Mesinkovska
Dermatitis. 2022; 33(4): 235
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Synthetic hair extensions causing irritant contact dermatitis in patients with a history of atopy: A report of 10 cases
Ncoza C. Dlova, Nkanyezi N. Ferguson, Jennifer N. Rorex, Gail Todd
Contact Dermatitis. 2021; 85(2): 141
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Do you know how to recommend a wig to your patient?
Flávia Weffort, Sofia Sales Martins, Glaura Tinoco Plata, Cibele Tamietti Duraes, Daniel Fernandes Melo
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2021; 20(3): 724
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded41    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 4    

Recommend this journal