Commonly Used Items Can Trigger Skin Allergies


It is important for you to know that a skin rash can signal many things but it’s often the result of an allergy.  Redness and itchiness with or without hives may be a sign of a skin allergy, which are caused by allergic contact dermatitis.  Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is the term used for a rash or irritation of the skin that occurs when allergens, substances that the immune system reacts to as foreign, touch your skin. Here are some of the most common skin allergy triggers.

PERFUMES/FRAGRANCES: This is one of the most common causes of contact allergy. These are not limited to only perfumes, this can also include, shampoos, lotions, soaps, detergents, and household products like room sprays. Even naturally scented oils can cause allergies.

NICKEL:  Nickel is used to create metal alloys that are found in many metal products including jewelry, watch bands, eyeglass frames, zippers, and other metal fasteners.  Earlobe dermatitis is common, due to the fact that many earrings contain nickel.

LATEX: Latex is a milky fluid that comes from rubber trees and is processed to make balloons, waistbands on clothing, and rubber bands.  This allergy is a reaction due to certain proteins in latex that your body mistakes as harmful substances.

HAIR DYE: Contact dermatitis from hair dye is caused by paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which are found in permanent hair dyes that are mixed with another chemical, such as peroxide, before they’re applied. It is always best to do a patch test to test the color on the skin before applying to the entire scalp.

FABRICS AND CLOTHING: Believe it or not, the most common fabric related allergy is to formaldehyde resins, which are used to make fabrics waterproof and resistant to wrinkles and shrinkage.  It can also be found in elastic waistbands.  Often, people can wear clothing that has been washed many times if it has been only lightly treated with a resin.  Look for clothing made of pure cotton, polyester, nylon, and acrylic.

If you develop an unknown rash, pay attention to any new products you decide to try.  Although sometimes, even after years of usage, you can develop allergies to a product you use often.  If you are in doubt, make sure to make an appointment with Mid Florida Dermatology.

For more commonly used items and further information click here.

– Dr. Gutierrez, MD