Hair Dye Allergies Symptoms

Hair-DyeYes! It looks really great after you finish dyeing your hair. And who does not like to have lustrous, beautiful, colored or dark hair which hair dyes promise to give. But some may end up with an allergic reaction. It is estimated that roughly 5% of permanent hair dye users develop hair dye allergy.

In this article we give information on some of the manifestations of hair dye allergies:

The main cause of the allergic reaction is paraphennylene diamine (PPD).

PPD is a chemical substance that is used as a coloring element in permanent hair dye. It is also used as an ingredient in fragrances and preservatives.

Symptoms of PPD-induced dermatitis:

  • Itchy, red and scaly skin
  • Rashes and burning sensations
  • Swelling and blisters
  • Crusts and scales on the skin
  • Eventually, the skin may crack, darken and become leathery
  • In severe cases the skin becomes painful to touch
  • Burning of the scalp which cannot be soothed by cold shower

Symptoms of PPD-induced urticaria:

  • Red skin and swollen eyes are the initial symptoms
  • Next, red scaly patches appear that spread across the body
  • Sneezing and wheezing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting

Symptoms of PPD-induced anaphylactic shock:

Anaphylactic shock is a rare case of hair dye allergy. It is an acute reaction of the body to the allergen. Immediate symptoms are:

  • Swelling of the eyelids and lips
  • Unusual Swelling of the face
  • Shortness of breath
  • Gasping for breath

Death is very rare and till now there have been 2 reported cases of death due to anaphylaxis of hair dye allergy. But this definitely shows how serious the allergic reaction can be. Therefore, every hair dye product recommends a patch test before application.

Hair Dye Allergies Sensitivity Test

Hair dye users need to mix together the dye and developer and apply the solution behind a ear, or on the inner elbow. If there is no rash or irritation even after 48 to 72 hours, the hair color is safe for you to use. If you get a rash, then you are allergic to that hair color.

There is another test called a patch test. The patch contains two percent PPD in petrolatum. It is applied on the upper back and left there for 48 hours. If you get ulcers, blisters or a rash, then you are allergic to that hair color. There is also the ready to use T.R.U.E. Patch test, which tests 24 possible allergens (including PPD) at once.

Treatment of PPD Allergy

Wash the hair and scalp thoroughly with a shampoo. To oxidize the PPD, use two percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Soften the crust by using a dressing of lime and olive oil.

If you have proven allergic dermatitis, use corticosteroid cream to reduce allergic response. Unfortunately, PPD allergic persons cannot use any permanent hair dye as they are not safe.

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