Berloque Dermatitis is a skin condition in which patients develop a brownish to reddish discoloration of the neck, face and sometimes the arms due to applying perfume or cologne to the skin.
Sometimes the skin first turns red before changing to a brownish color. This condition can persist for years or even be permanent in some cases.
What causes Berloque Dermatitis?
Many perfumes and colognes contain something called oil of bergamot, an extract of the peel of a specific orange grown in the South of France and the Calabria district of Italy. When this oil comes in contact with the skin and the skin is exposed to sunlight, the oil of bergamot causes the skin to discolor. With repeated exposures to sunlight, the discoloration becomes permanent.
What are the treatment options?
Cosmetics such as Dermablend and Covermark work well to cover the area so it is not as noticeable. Patients with Berloque dermatitis should use a daily sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to help keep the condition from worsening. Also, perfume should no longer be applied to areas of the skin that get sun exposure.
Laser treatment may be an effective treatment in the future. You may want to go to a laser center to seek their opinion.
Tretinoin (Retin-A) applied to the involved areas daily will improve this condition, as will daily application of Keralyt gel.
Jessner’s peels will also improve Berloque dermatitis.
Thankfully, very few perfumes and colognes these days contain oil of bergamot, and if they do, it’s an artificial kind that does not cause any discoloration. It’s important to read all of the ingredients and make sure you aren’t allergic to any or that they won’t cause any hyperpigmentation.
To be safe, spray in areas that are generally covered up to minimize any exposure and potential for problems.