There are some beauty products that I LOVE. Like my eyeliners, a good facial moisturizer and body cream. As you probably know, its fun for me to go through the ingredients and make sure my products are made of good stuff. But what if you’re allergic to the ingredients in your product?! It can happen and it sucks. It’s called contact dermatitis and its essentially being allergic to usually a topical product.
What do you need to know about contact dermatitis?
- The main symptom is a dry, flaky, usually red rash that is incredibly itchy
- The rash may not always be where you applied the “culprit” product! For example, if you get this rash on your eyelids, the most common cause is your nail polish!
- With the rash, you can have swelling or puffiness
- A history of eczema damages your skin barrier and could be associated with a higher chance of experiencing the rash
- To make it even more confusing, the rash can occur after you have used a product for years! The same goes for a new product. If you just bought a new lipstick and break out into a rash 4 weeks later, the lipstick may be the cause.
What are common ingredients that can cause contact dermatitis?
- Most common allergens are usually metals including nickel which is found in jewelry and makeup including eyeshadows and lipsticks. The concentration of nickel plays a role, but more important is the release of nickel from different formulations.
- Fragrances are found in several cosmetics, hair products, lotions and are a significant cause of contact dermatitis.
- PPD (Paraphenylenediamine) was allergen of the year in 2006! This is found in dark colored cosmetics, permanent hair dye, and temporary tattoos.
- You can see your allergist or dermatologist for a patch test which tests for the most common allergens. Its a 3 day test (no needles!) with several allergens taped on your back. You can’t get your back wet, so no gym or shower for a few days. Hopefully your back will feel itchy because that means you will probably have a positive test – meaning the allergen causing your rash can finally be identified! There are several sites to help you find products that you CAN use.
Let me know if you have any questions!