Going Coconuts from Your Skin Allergy?

The 2017 Allergan of the Year … a Surprising Find!

Contact dermatitis is an irritating and often itchy rash that results from prolonged exposure to allergens or irritants. For instance, some people are allergic to nickel and develop a weepy rash when wearing earrings. When an allergen is in the air, the rash may affect a person from head to toe. As dermatologists, we treat these symptoms with a variety of prescription medications and home remedies. But the key is to determine the cause of the rash. It is sometimes a great mystery, but science helps us narrow it down to common allergens found in many household products. This year, the American Contact Dermatitis Society has named its 2017 ALLERGEN OF THE YEAR…..ALKYL GLUCOSIDES. and you may be surprised about where they can be found!

Alkyl Glucosides are usually found in cosmetic products – condensed from renewable plant sources such as palm oil or coconut oil used in surfacants. Alkyl glucosides are completely biodegradable, making them popular to eco-friendly manufacturers seeking all natural components for their products. But since th early 2000’s dermatologists have identified significantly more cases of alkyl glucoside inducted allergic contact dermatitis than ever before.

Which products contain slkyl glucosides? You might find it in your skin care products, hair dyes, styling mousse, cleansing soaps, fragances and tanning formulations. Even coconut oil can cause this type of itchy reaction.

If you need help treating contact dermatitis, make an appointment with your Midwest Dermatology Clinic physician. And if you are checking ingredients when you shop, look for alkyl glucosides under the names decryl, lauryl, cetearyl and coco glucoside.

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