If you’re dealing with outbreaks of acne, eczema, or hives after using particular products, you might be wondering what you should do. Here are a few tips on how to identify what you’re reacting to and how to proceed.
There are a variety of ingredients in a host of products that could cause issues on your skin. And these aren’t limited to skin care products. Cleaning chemicals, laundry detergents, perfumes, shampoos and conditioners, and more can all cause problems when it comes to your skin.
Three of the most common culprits in adverse skin reactions to products are perfumes, dyes, and preservatives. Artificial ingredients that keep products looking or smelling a certain way, or ensure they have a long shelf life, aren’t necessarily great for you, especially if your skin is on the sensitive side.
Skin rashes are some of the most commonly reported reactions to products. Rashes like hives can cause red, itchy bumps or welts. But other rashes can cause white or gray flaky patches or raised pinkish areas on the skin. Rashes caused by contact with a substance that irritates the skin could indicate an allergy. If the body is responding to the ingredient or the product as an allergen, you may need to avoid the product altogether.
Eczema, or dermatitis, is another very common skin reaction to irritating ingredients. Contact dermatitis specifically is caused by skin contact with substances like latex, perfume, metals, hair dye, or other chemicals that most people do not have a reaction to. This condition is usually a red or brown itchy patch of skin.
Acne can be a response to irritants as well. When oily or combination skin comes in contact with an irritant in a product, the pores can respond by overproducing sebum (or oil). This sebum then mixes with dirt, sweat, and bacteria in the pores to cause clogged whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.
In the case of a recurring skin rash, you should first look into getting an allergy test. This can help you identify the specific trigger if you’re having trouble pinpointing it or confirm an allergy diagnosis if you suspect a particular ingredient. If you’re indeed allergic to a product or ingredient, you will need to avoid it in order to prevent further reactions. In some cases, immunotherapy may be an option. This treatment requires ongoing injections of the allergen in tiny doses until the body becomes desensitized to the trigger and stops responding with an allergic reaction. However, this is a very involved process, and results aren’t always guaranteed. Talk to your dermatologist or allergist more about this before moving forward.
In the case of skin conditions like acne and eczema, there are many treatment options available. To treat an existing outbreak, your doctor can prescribe topical steroids or non-steroidal topical medications. Oral antihistamines and other oral prescriptions may also be used. And there are specific treatments that can help reduce or eliminate symptoms and severity of flare ups, including phototherapy and laser therapies.
Generally speaking, using a high-quality skin care regimen formulated for your skin type, drinking plenty of water, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and washing pillowcases frequently in hot water can all help prevent skin irritation.
Have more questions about skin reactions to products? If you’re in the Bellevue, Washington area, contact North Pacific Dermatology today for an appointment.