Allergies to Cosmetics

Go to a beauty store- the range of skin, hair, nail, eye and tooth products are mind boggling. And statistics prove that cosmetics are ever on the higher side of demand. The American Academy of Dermatology reports the average adult uses at least seven different cosmetic products each day. But did you know that these products are capable of causing allergic reactions?

Although cosmetics can help us feel more beautiful, they can cause skin irritation or Certain ingredients used in cosmetics, such as fragrances and preservatives, can act as antigens, substances that trigger an allergic reaction.

Allergies to Cosmetics Symptoms:

The most common type of allergic reaction is contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis can be of two types: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis:

This is more common than allergic contact dermatitis and can occur in anyone. It develops when an irritating or harsh substance actually damages the skin. Irritant contact dermatitis usually begins as patches of itchy, scaly skin or a red rash, but can develop into blisters that ooze, especially if the skin is further irritated from scratching.

Allergic contact dermatitis:

This occurs in people who are allergic to a specific ingredient or ingredients in a product. Symptoms include redness, swelling, itching and hive -like breakouts. In some cases, the skin becomes red and raw.


Avoiding the allergen is the best treatment. If people don’t know what’s causing the allergic reaction, a dermatologist will figure out what people are allergic to with what’s called “patch testing.” We apply chemicals in very low concentration, but high enough concentration to elicit an allergic reaction, so we can tell people what they’re allergic to. Allergic dermatitis is usually treated with corticosteroid derivatives, either by mouth or by a topical application such as a cream.

Comments are closed.