caution with cosmetics


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
caution with cosmetics

While serious health complications associated with cosmetics are rare, mild reactions like affected skin texture are quite common.

Many cosmetics contain fragrances, dyes, preservatives, herbal extracts and essential oils, which may potentially cause skin reactions. "Women are more susceptible to reactions and risks as their usage of cosmetics is much more than men," says dermatologist Dr Meghna Gupta of Delhi Skin Centre. Today, Dr Gupta takes us through the top 7 health risks of cosmetics and certain skin manifestations commonly seen.

Acute irritant reaction:
Cleansing lotions, hair straighteners, depilatories can cause acute reactions, if directions for their safe use are not strictly followed. This reaction is characterized by redness, swelling, scaling, irritation and itching. This only happens when the harsh product comes in direct touch with the skin.

Allergic contact dermatitis:
This happens only in individuals who are allergic to any substance in a cosmetic or its byproduct - be it the main ingredient, formulation base, or preservative. Hives are a common presentation. Most common sites are face, lips, eyes and neck.

Mechanical irritation:
Facial and body scrubs and some other exfoliation jellies can lead to mechanical trauma characterized by redness, roughness and severe itching. Product should be micro particle size to prevent any such reaction.

Acneiform and pustular eruption:
This is, by far, one of the commonest reactions seen especially in youngsters. Foundations, concealers and other make up products block the pores (opening of oil glands) leading to acne and persistent pus filled lesions.

Phototoxic reaction:
Phototoxic inflammation (redness, swelling, soreness or even blisters) can be caused by both natural and synthetic ingredients in a cosmetic product. This happens under the influence of UV radiation and atmospheric oxygen. Perfumes, essential oil containing product, Vitamin A derivatives all fall in this category.

Contact urticaria:
Wheal and flare response is another presentation where itching is the first sign to appear. Perfumes, deodorants, after-shave lotions, henna applications are some of the common culprits.

Cosmetic intolerance syndrome:
This kind of manifestation is not an acute one, as it is a chronic disorder. Symptoms of irritation are not visible immediately but are apparent after usage over a few months or perhaps years. Eventually skin becomes intolerant to many products, which have been working well enough in the past. Stinging, burning sensation, irritation, itching or even redness and swelling appear as soon as the offending agent is used. Severe form of the same is called status cosmeticus.

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