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- Patient Comments: Cosmetic Allergies - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Cosmetics Allergy - Treatment
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
- Makeup allergy facts
- What are cosmetics? What is in makeup?
- What are the risk factors for cosmetics reactions?
- Where do cosmetic skin reactions occur? What are symptoms and signs of a makeup allergy?
- What is on the cosmetic label?
- What health care specialists diagnose and treat makeup allergies?
- How do health care professionals diagnose makeup allergies?
- What else could the rash be aside from a cosmetic rash?
- What is the treatment for a makeup allergy?
- What is the prognosis of a cosmetics allergy? How long do they last?
- Is it possible to prevent a cosmetics allergy?
- What makeup brands are allergy tested? Which cosmetics brands are the safest?
Where do cosmetic skin reactions occur? What are symptoms and signs of a makeup allergy?
Since cosmetics are most commonly applied to the female face, this site is most commonly involved in cosmetic skin reactions and inflammatory dermatitis. The rash produced by such a reaction often appears as a scaling, dry, itchy red area, an eczematous dermatitis, usually confined to the area where the cosmetic was applied (for example, the eyelids may become irritated after applying eye shadow). Occasionally, cosmetic skin reactions can appear as hives (welts). This type of hives (contact urticarial) can be either allergic or nonallergic. It is often very difficult to distinguish on the basis of appearance whether the reaction is allergic or irritant. Sometimes there may be a stinging sensation soon after the offending cosmetic is applied, or the reaction can be delayed for a day or two. Less commonly, reactions may appear as blackheads, folliculitis, hives, and darkened skin.
What is on the cosmetic label?
The ingredients in a cosmetic are required to be listed on the label in order of decreasing quantity. Any ingredient could potentially produce a reaction, but certain ingredients seem to be more likely to cause problems. The use of the terms hypoallergenic, pure, and natural on the label have very little scientific meaning and are essentially marketing jargon. Cosmetics that use the term organic must be manufactured according to certain USDA criteria that have little to do with consumer safety.
What health care specialists diagnose and treat makeup allergies?
Dermatologists have the most experience in dealing with makeup and cosmetic intolerance.
How do health care professionals diagnose makeup allergies?
If a cosmetic is being considered as a potential cause of a reaction, the patient can perform a "use" test over three or four days by repeatedly applying the substance to the same site on forearm skin. If a reaction appears, further types of allergy testing can be performed by a health care professional to determine the precise identity of the offending substance in the cosmetic mixture. One can then avoid the product as well as avoiding further exposure to the same allergenic component in other cosmetic products.