Colophony  home ICD10: L23.9

Colofonium Colofonium

Formule CAS


Colophony is derived mainly from Pinus palustris and Pinus caribaea and is a sticky amber material in its crude form. It consists of 90% resin acids and 10% neutral matter. It contains several allergens including oxidation products of abietic acid and dehydroabietic acid.

Abietic acid
Abietic alcohol
Abietyl alcohol
Dercolyte ZS
Dertomal 18
Dertophene 18
Foral 105
Granolite SG
Gum rosin
Hercolyn D
Methyl abietate alcohol
Resina terebinthinae
Rosin gum
Staybelite 10
Tall oil
W-W wood rosin

Athletic grip aid
Brown soaps
Chewing gum
Cleansing agents
Cutting fluids
Dental cements and impression pastes
Glue tackifiers
Insulating tapes
Ostomy appliances
Pine oil cleaners
Pine tree sawdust
Periodontal packings
Polishes and waxes
Printing inks
Soldering fluxes
Surface coatings
Topical medicaments
Ulcer bandages
Violin bow rosin

Balsam Peru
Dihydroabietyl alcohol
Oil of turpentine
Pine resin
Spruce resin
Wood tars

Unusual Reactions

1. Van der Hoorn MMC, Rustemeyer Th. Colofonium. Ned Tijdschr Dermatol Venereol 2016;26:19-21.
2. Wahlberg JE. Abietic acid and colophony. Contact Dermatitis 1978;4(1):55.
3. Karlberg AT, Boman A, Wahlberg JE. Allergenic potential of abietic acid, colophony and pine resin-HA. Clinical and experimental studies. Contact Dermatitis 1980;6(7):481-487.
4. Karlberg AT, et al. Is abietic acid the allergenic component of colophony?. Contact Dermatitis 1985;13(4):209-215.
5. Karlberg AT. Pure abietic acid is not allergenic [letter; comment]. Contact Dermatitis 1989;21(4):282-285.
6. Hausen BM et al. Contact allergy due to colophony (III). Sensitizing potency of resin acids and some related products [see comments]. Contact Dermatitis 1989;20(1):41-50.
7. Hausen BM, Krohn K, Budianto E. Contact allergy due to colophony (VII). Sensitizing studies with oxidation products of abietic and related acids. Contact Dermatitis 1990;23(5):352-358.
8. Shao LP et al. The allergenicity of glycerol esters and other esters of rosin (colophony). Contact Dermatitis 1993;28(4):229-234.
9. Gafvert E et al. Allergenicity of rosin (colophony) esters (II). Glyceryl monoabietate identified as contact allergen. Contact Dermatitis 1994;31(1):11-17.
10. Gafvert E. Allergenic components in modified and unmodified rosin. Chemical characterization and studies of allergenic activity. Acta Dermato-Venereologica. Supplementum 1994;184:1-36.
11. Fisher AA. Allergic contact dermatitis in a violinist. The role of abietic acid - a sensitizer in rosin (colophony) - as the causative agent. Cutis 1981;27(5):466, 468, 473.
11. El Sayed F, Manzur F, Bayle P, Marguery MS, Bazex J. Contact urticaria from abietic acid. Contact dermatitis 1995;32(6):361-362.
13. Rustemeyer Th, et al. Chapter 41 Colophony: Rosin in Unmodified and Modified Form. Kanerva’s Occupational Dermatology. Second edition ed: Springer, 2012:467-479.
14. Farm G. Contact allergy to colophony. Clinical and experimental studies with emphasis on clinical relevance. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl 1998;201:1-42.
15. Downs AM, Sansom JE. Colophony allergy: a review. Contact Dermatitis 1999;41:305-310.
16. Nielsen NH, Menne T. Allergic contact sensitization in an unselected Danish population. The Glostrup Allergy Study, Denmark. Acta Derm Venereol 1992;72:456-460.
17. Schafer T, Bohler E, Ruhdorfer S, Weigl L, Wessner D, Filipiak B, et al. Epidemiology of contact allergy in adults. Allergy 2001;56:1192-1196.
18. Dotterud LK, Smith-Sivertsen T. Allergic contact sensitization in the general adult population: a population-based study from Northern Norway. Contact Dermatitis 2007;56:10-15.
19. Karlberg AT, Liden C. Clinical experience and patch testing using colophony (rosin) from different sources. Br J Dermatol 1985;113:475-481.
20. Karlberg AT, Gafvert E. Isolated colophony allergens as screening substances for contact allergy. Contact Dermatitis. 1996;35:201-207.
21. Gafvert E, Bordalo O, Karlberg AT. Patch testing with allergens from modified rosin (colophony) discloses additional cases of contact allergy. Contact Dermatitis 1996;35:290-298.
22. Karlberg AT, Boman A, Holmbom B, Liden C. Contact allergy to acid and neutral fractions of rosins. Sensitization experiments in guinea pigs and patch testing in patients. Derm Beruf Umwelt 1986;34:31-36.

dr. Jan R. Mekkes. Dermatoloog, AMC, Amsterdam.

06-01-2020 (JRM) - W3C-html-4.01-valid

web counter