Do you have allergic skin reactions and are not sure why? Do your shampoos, detergents and cosmetics leave your skin feeling itchy and red? You may be among the many people who suffer from contact dermatitis. According to the FDA, “up to 25% of people have had an allergic skin reaction to at least one beauty product” (Webmd).

Skin reactions to chemicals occur when a typically harmless chemical comes in contact with your skin, causing the immune system to release histamine and other inflammatory chemicals. This can result in a red, itchy rash within 24-48 hours.

Symptoms of allergic skin reactions include hives, burning, itching, fluid blisters, sensitivity to the sun and red, itchy, scaly, cracked skin. Skin reactions can also cause swelling of the face and eyes.

Skin reactions can occur after the first time using a product or years after using the same ones. Some common every day products that people have allergic reactions to include:

  • Moisturizers
  • makeup
  • perfumes/colognes
  • sunscreens
  • laundry detergent
  • cleaning products
  • hair dyes
  • soaps
  • deodorants
  • fragrance tissues
  • Formaldehyde resin (chemical in nail products)

If your skin becomes irritated with a product, stop use immediately. For temporary relief, try over-the-counter antihistamines, calamine lotion and cortisone cream (affected area only). When shopping for perfumes and lotions, look for ones that say “fragrance-free” or “no perfume.” Never spray perfume directly on skin. Misting it on your clothes will reduce the chance of a reaction.

If you feel you may be allergic to a chemical, contact an Allergist. They can test specific chemicals by placing a patch test on your skin for 48 hours. Education and an avoidance plan are the best answers. Make sure to keep a list of items you have used and what reactions you had. You too can live symptom free!