PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In recent years, the risk of allergy to chlorhexidine is increasingly recognised. In this review, we discuss why the allergy is so easily overlooked and point out several preventative initiatives that can minimise the risk of both chlorhexidine sensitisation and allergy development and accidental re-exposure in patients with chlorhexidine allergy. Testing for chlorhexidine allergy is also discussed.
RECENT FINDINGS: Numerous reports have been published from many different specialties. Symptoms range from mild skin symptoms to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Testing for chlorhexidine allergy is based on skin testing and in vitro testing. Recently, it was found that both skin prick testing and specific IgE have high sensitivities and specificities. This review gives an overview of chlorhexidine allergy with a special focus on preventative initiatives and testing.