A new study has warned that even natural aromatic oils can also cause allergies just like synthetic perfumes.
Research from University of Gothenburg has demonstrated that even natural aromatic oils, which are deemed as harmless compared to synthetic perfumes, can cause allergies.
Hypersensitivity to perfumes is the most common contact allergy in adults.
The new eczema-provoking allergens are formed by reaction with acid in the ambient air (known as autoxidation) or with skin enzymes.
It is said that anything that comes from nature as being healthier and less dangerous but when it comes to natural aromas known as essential oils this may not be true.
During the study, lead researcher Lina Hagvall examined natural lavender oil.
It showed that essential oils do not prevent the formation of allergenic substances through reactions with acid; something which had not previously been possible to confirm.
She also examines geraniol, a common constituent of perfumes such as rose oil. The study shows geraniol by itself to be only slightly allergenic.
However through autoxidation and reaction with skin enzymes, the substance is activated and becomes the closely related allergen geranial.
Hagvall's thesis concludes that such risks must be factored into health risk assessments of chemicals relating to contact allergy.
The study also demonstrates that more perfumes than previously believed can be activated into allergens, and that more studies should be done to increase knowledge within the field and thus reduce the number of eczema cases.