The Downside to Cosmetics - Cosmetic Allergy - Health

The Downside to Cosmetics - Cosmetic Allergy   by Charlene J. Nuble

in Health    (submitted 2006-07-25)

The American Academy of Dermatology has revealed that on the average, adult Americans use at least seven various cosmetics or cosmetic products daily.

The thing is that products like shampoos, colognes, deodorants, moisturizers and other cosmetics have become part of people's daily personal routines and they are considered necessities these days.

Cosmetics are primarily used to enhance beauty and some people have become so dependent on them that they become part of lifestyles.

Without any further explanation, it is apparent and very much understood that there are several specified ingredients in such cosmetics that function like antigens or trigger substances for allergic reactions, like fragrances and preservatives.

Cosmetic allergies are not so common. However, experts and studies found that on the average, about 10% of the country's population is expected to form or experience a form of cosmetic allergy within their lifetime.

But it would be logical to assert that women are more prone to experience cosmetics allergy than men.

Symptoms of cosmetic allergy

Basically, there are only two major skin reactions that will clearly indicate the onset of cosmetics allergy. These are allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.

The most common manifestation of allergies from cosmetics is inflammation in the infected skin area. The affected spot would exhibit redness and swelling, and most of the time, those two symptoms are carried out with mild to severe itching.

Basic and primary symptoms for cosmetics dermatitis immediately show up or develop after the skin has taken contact with cosmetic products.

Symptoms for cosmetic allergy occurs when the skin breaks down after contact with identified harsh substances. Upon contact, those substances or allergens immediately and directly affect and injure the skin's outer layer, thus the onset of symptoms.

Like any other form of allergies, cosmetics allergy should not be considered a disease. Rather it is just a normal reaction as the body's protective immune system throws out or rejects foreign and harmful substances.

Treatment of cosmetics allergy

Creams and ointments specifically manufactured to treat cosmetics allergy are available without prescriptions through retailers and drug stores.

Most of these medications contain cortisone in the form of hydrocortisone acetate and hydrocortisone. Cortisones help curtail redness, swelling and itching during the onset of cosmetics allergy symptoms.

In severe cases, doctors prescribe extra-strong medications and ointments that can effectively and immediately relieve the allergy. Antibiotics are needed if blisters in the skin, which is caused by cosmetics allergy, cracks and becomes infected.

How to prevent cosmetics allergy

There are some recommended measures that can help you prevent contracting cosmetics allergy. Take note of the following ways.

- Before using any cosmetic products, read its labels. Look out for active ingredients that can obviously trigger an allergic reaction to your skin. Find products or alternatives that do not contain such ingredients.

- Perform mini-patch tests to determine if a new cosmetic product is too strong for your skin. It is done by rubbing your wrist with the products and observing for any redness or recatio within 24 hours.

- When buying cosmetics, pick up those that contain very simple cosmetic formulas.

- When wearing perfume, apply it on your clothes, not in your skin.

It would do you no harm if you take several precautions to avoid getting cosmetics allergy. Prevention is much better that treatments. Remember, cosmetic allergy, just like any other allergies, is only treatable, not curable.

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