How can I avoid it?
Skin contact with anethole is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing anethole should result in improvement and/or the resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the U.S. for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of your skincare products for this ingredient. If there is not enough information, ask your pharmacist or retailer, or contact the company directly. At work, request a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.

The avoidance of fragrances and flavoring agents such as anethole can be difficult since so many everyday products contain these substances. One should use only fragrance-free cosmetics and household products. “Unscented” products may contain low levels of a fragrance to cover up an undesirable odor and also should be avoided. Products labeled as “hypoallergenic” do not assure 
that the product is truly free of fragrance.

Since fragrances are complex mixtures of many ingredients, an individual may tolerate one fragrance but not another. A trial-and-error method of avoiding a fragrance allergen in a product can be performed by applying the product to the forearm in the same small area twice a day for a week. If no dermatitis develops, the product may likely be used safely.

Direct contact with foods or products containing anethole may cause symptoms including burning, irritation, and redness. Direct contact may occur on the skin, lips, or mouth. It is possible, but rare, that ingestion of this substance could cause generalized symptoms such as itching or redness of the skin.

  • Perfumes/Colognes/After-shaves/Toilet water
  • Skincare products/Cosmetics 
    • Antiperspirants/Deodorants
    • Hair sprays, gels, tonics, and lotions 
    • Hair colorants/“Permanents-relaxers” 
    • Soaps/Cleansers 
    • Shampoos/Conditioners
    • Moisturizers Make-ups
    • Nail Polish/Nail polish remover 
    • Powders/Sprays
    • Sunscreens 
    • Toothpaste/dental floss
  • Topical medications (prescription and over the counter) Anesthetics
    • Antiseptics
    • Creams, ointments, solutions 
    • Foot and other powders 
    • Nasal decongestants
    • Herbal remedies, including traditional Chinese medications
    • Wound dressings                               
  • Household products
    • Air fresheners/Aromatherapy/Potpourri
    • Cleaning products/Soaps/Detergents (A preferred household cleaner for fragrance-allergic individuals is diluted white vinegar.)
    • Furniture polish
    • Laundry care (detergent, softeners)
  • Foods, candies, gum, beverages including absinthe as a flavoring
  • Spice
    • Anise 
    • Fennel 
    • Basil 
    • Tarragon 
    • Liquorice
  • Oral care products as a flavoring 
    • Cough mixtures 
    • Mouthwash 
    • Throat tablets and lozenges
  • Industrial/Manufacturing/Construction uses 
    • Embedding materials in microscopy Metalworking fluids
    • Paints 
    • Photography 
    • Sheet metal 
    • Solvents 
    • Waterproofing 
    • Woodworking
    • Agrichemical – insecticide, fungicide, and pesticide
  • Alcoholic drinks – ouzo, raki, Pernod, and absinthe
  • Antihelmintic (anti-worms)
  • Antimicrobial
Other names for Anethole:
  • Anise Camphor
  • Para-methoxyphenyl propene
  • p-Propenylanisole
  • Iso Estragole
  • 1-methoxy-4-(1-propenyl)benzene
  • Anethol
  • Trans-Anethol
  • (E)-Anethol
Potential cross-reacting/co-reacting substances:
  • Fragrances


How safe is it?

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