Yes, it’s true! It is possible to be allergic to body care products. Although it’s not discussed heavily in mainstream news outlets, these types of allergies are common.
Typically, we hear about specific food allergies (e.g. peanuts) or negative reactions to medications. The reason for awareness being given to these specific allergies is the large number of people that are impacted and the severity of the allergy. In addition, a person or group of persons (in)directly impacted by these allergies independently work to increase their awareness.
Because ingredients in our foods can be the same ingredients in our products, allergies to body care products (and ingredients) are just as common. So, it’s important to know your triggering ingredients so you can avoid them. In the event that you’re not sure, we’re sharing some signs your body will give you when you’re allergic or sensitive to your body care products.
Sneezing, Watery Eyes, Tightness in Your Throat
These signs are similar to what is experienced with seasonal, outdoor or indoor allergies. But, are realized when a triggering product is applied on the skin – specifically on or around the face. Make-up, moisturizer, sunblock, perfume, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, hair dye can all cause these symptoms within a few minutes after application. And, symptoms may persist even after the products have been washed off.
Genital Irritation: Rash, Itching, Burning, Swelling
Mimicking the symptoms of an STI, these symptoms occur upon application of a triggering product and persist for weeks. Genital skin is particularly delicate and may show signs of a problem when the rest of the body doesn’t. Soap (bar and liquid), body polish and mask, wax, moisturizer, douche, condom, lube, sanitary wipe, sanitary napkin and tampon can all trigger these painful and long-lasting irritations.
Skin Soreness / Skin Discoloration
Often mistaken for a [slight] sunburn this allergic response can occur even without sun exposure. It may be in many places across the body or may be in one spot. Any topically applied product can cause this negative reaction.
Acne-like Outbreak / Open Sores / Dark Spots
This common allergy response is often treated incorrectly due to misdiagnosis. People often assume that any issues on the face are related to a form of acne. The same products that can cause sneezing, watery eyes and tightness in your throat can also cause outbreaks and open sores on or around the face. Because these products are used daily, if not many times in a day, these symptoms may persist and get worse.
If you consistently realize negative skin reactions, especially those that appear in the exact same place, you may have an allergy to your body care products. These allergies may cause internal as well as external complications. If you believe that you may have an allergy, stop using the product(s) and consult a physician to confirm.
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