When we look into the mirror, and we look at our skin, be it on our face or our body, we may see blemishes from the most obvious to the most obscure and we immediately think of what products can address such and such a problem. The next time we go out, we make it a point to drop by a wellness and health department to grab some skin creams. And later at night, with excitement and faith, we slather on our creams in hopes that we will wake up to a smoother more flawless skin. The next morning, however, counterintuitive to what we expect, we wake up to a reddish, uneven, somewhat swollen skin staring back at us. It’s not uncommon if we are not aware of the ingredients in the products we buy and not knowing the proper skin care for allergic skin.
The rash that we develop from skin creams or cosmetics is called allergic contact dermatitis. Our skin is well-equipped with a plethora of protective cells that form physical and biological barriers. Certain chemicals may bind with a molecule called CD1a, in turn, activating the T cells and triggering a cascade of an allergic reaction. But how do skin creams give us rashes? Some chemicals in the cream may displace natural fat-like molecules called lipids, from skin cells. What this does is, it exposes the CD1a molecule to chemicals in the product and easily stimulates the T cells to begin its allergic response. The skin will respond to the changes by turning red, inflamed with itchiness and swelling.
This problem can be dealt with if we are more diligent in choosing our products and caring for our skin. These steps may help you with your condition
Check the label
Look for products with the fewest ingredients. Steer clear especially with those containing, Balsam of Peru, farnesol, benzyl benzoate and benzyl cinnamate. These among a dozen others are recognised as chemicals or extracts that are responsible for the rashes.
Also, choose the ones without perfume. Find the labels “fragrance-free’ or “no perfume added” instead of “unscented’ ones. Unscented ones usually have a small amount of fragrance that masks the smell of chemicals.
Perform your own patch test at home
This is similar to how doctors at hospitals will test you for your medication allergies. Before you use a new product, apply a small amount of the cream onto the inside of your arm, wait for 2 to 3 days, and observe for a local reaction at the site. If there are no redness, swelling, itching or burning sensations present, then it is safe for you to use the product.
Spray perfume onto your clothes instead of your skin
Contrary to what people say about spraying perfume on the skin rather than your clothes for better scent and longevity, you would want to do the reverse because fragrance tends to irritate your skin, especially sensitive ones. But be sure to test your perfume on a small area of your cloth first to ensure it does not leave a stain.
Listen to your skin
Take notice of how your skin responds. Vague terms such as hypoallergenic, dermatologically-tested, non-irritating are not a guarantee that your skin won’t react badly.
Stop and soothe
If your skin shows signs of an allergic reaction, stop using it at once. You might find topical steroid cream to be of use in managing your condition. If things get severe, it’s best for you to consult your dermatologist and get prescription-strength medications.
In a nutshell, it is truly disappointing to develop rashes from skin creams that are supposed to make our skin better. But that doesn’t mean all skin creams will give us the same nasty rashes. It depends on the ingredients in the products and how you care for your sensitive skin. If you have any concerns and would require professional help, it is best for you to consult you dermatologist and get the help you deserve,