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How Safe Are Your Cosmetics ?

by Medindia Content Team on  May 24, 2004 at 1:23 PM Research News   - G J E 4
How Safe Are Your Cosmetics ?
Most people long for flawless skin and at present there are thousands of products that have been developed to cater to the various needs of people. But in certain people, skin care products, including make-up and sunscreen, as well as hair and nail care products, can lead to an allergic reaction on the skin called contact dermatitis. Sometimes it's even difficult for people and their doctors to discern the cause of the allergic reaction because the rash may not appear in the area where the product was applied.
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Researchers caution that products deigned "all natural" aren't any less likely to cause allergic reactions than other products.Occasionally allergic reactions occur in people with normal skin, but more often then not, they occur in people in which the barrier has been broken so that the skin is no longer completely intact. Lotions and creams, foundations, moisturizers, sunscreens, shampoos, salon hair care products and nail care products are most likely to cause allergic reactions.

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Contact dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction similar to the one you would get if exposed to poison oak or poison ivy. Researchers say some people might just have dry skin, and as they begin to use a product, their skin becomes more and more red and they might develop vesicles. These are little tiny blisters on the skin that become crusty and ooze and then spread to other parts of the body. The dermatitis might spread up an arm or the whole face or the eyelids might be involved. Depending on how strong an allergen you're dealing with, you may get an allergic eczema, which is an itchy rash. The allergic reaction just gets worse and worse until the person stops using the product.

Researchers suggest that those allergic to particular chemicals, will need to avoid products that contain them, and should also be careful to look for them on the label of all skin and hair care products that they purchase.

When it comes to treating allergy , specialists say 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." Where chemicals are applied in very low concentrations, but high enough concentration to elicit an allergic reaction, thus people can identify 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.

Researchers caution that people with underlying skin conditions should try to use products with as few ingredients as possible in it ,for example, particularly older people should try to use plain 100 percent petrolatum as a moisturizer. People should avoid products with preservatives such as the formaldehyde releasers or methyldibromo glutaronitrile. And as a general rule, products that are preserved with chemicals called parabens and products that are fragrance free tend to cause less difficulty.
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