Unexplained itchiness and rashes are one of the most common reasons for seeing a dermatologist. Reoccurring or worsening symptoms are frustrating for clients who cannot pinpoint a trigger for their conditions. More often than not we discover that patients are suffering from a skin allergy. Many people aren’t aware they have an allergy at all, and some cases can be extremely mild, making it hard to detect a cause. Not to mention, allergies can develop over time and at any stage in life. While things like nickel, poison ivy and fragrances are common contributors to skin allergies; there are an infinite number of materials that can cause a contact dermatitis reaction (through contact on the skin); and worse, there are many ingredients we use daily to achieve healthy skin, which can actually cause an allergic reaction.
Check your labels for these common allergy-inducing ingredients:
- Formaldehyde- often listed in products as quaternium-15, is a preservative widely used in the beauty industry to prevent bacterial contamination of products.
- Lanolin- an ester produced from sheep’s wool, used to protect the oils on the skin’s surface. It is commonly found in lip balm, soaps and other moisturizing products.
- Coconut- often listed as coconut diethanolamide, is an increasingly popular ingredient in skin care products. These allergies are known to develop slowly even after months of product usage. Also listed as: coconut oil acid, cocamide DEA, ninol, witcamide and calamide.
- Balsam of Peru- often listed as myroxylon, is a sticky sap that smells like vanilla and cinnamon. Often found in soaps, perfumes, shampoo and even in food and medication.
It is important to also know that while one may not have an allergy to foods such as soy, coconut, eggs, nuts or dairy a dermatitis skin allergy to the substance is still possible. If you are allergic to certain foods it is highly suggested not to use products containing these items to avoid possible dermatitis and irritation. If we cannot easily identify a common cause of your reactions our office offers Patch Testing. This testing will allow us to determine if a skin condition is caused by an allergic reaction to any specific substances and what exactly those are. We also offer a full line of GermainRx skin and body care products which are all oil and fragrance free.