Cosmetic Allergy Diagnosis And Treatment- Allergy/Immunology, Dermatology

Dermatologists i.e. doctors who have  specialized in the treatment of skin disorders are the doctors who are involved in cosmetic allergy diagnosis and treatment.

What are cosmetic products?

Cosmetic products are used on the surface of the skin, hair, or nails. These include makeup, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, nail polish etc.  They contain different substances or chemicals or essential oils.

What is cosmetic allergy?

Various cosmetic products/beauty products can cause allergic reaction to the skin. The allergic reaction can be as small as a simple rash or can appear as a full-blown allergic reaction. Patient may develop the allergic reaction right after using the cosmetic product or after many years.

How to diagnose the allergic reaction?

A rash due to cosmetic products appears as a dry, scaling, itchy red area. In order to diagnose the allergic reaction due to any particular cosmetic product, the patient should try to do a “use” test or a “patch” test for 3 to 4 days. This can be done by frequently smearing the cosmetic product at the same site on forearm skin. If the patient develops an allergic reaction after this, the dermatologist would recommend specific allergy tests to identify the responsible component/substance in the cosmetic product. By doing so the patient would be able to know which substance is causing the allergic reaction and would be able to avoid specific cosmetic products.

What are the treatment options?

Mild allergic reactions due to cosmetic products generally resolve without any treatment as long as the patient avoids using that particular product. Serious allergic reactions can be treated by using 1% hydrocortisone cream. If this treatment option does not work, a stronger topical steroid is recommended.

Antihistamines, cold compresses, emollients, and immunotherapy are other treatment option depending on the severity of the allergic reactions.



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About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.