Makeup allergies is hypersensitivity to substances that are part of cosmetics (creams, lacquers, shampoos, lipsticks, perfumes, deodorants, paints, etc.). It is characterized by the development of allergic reactions with damage to the skin, lips, hair and nails. Makeup allergies is more often manifested in the form of urticaria and contact dermatitis, the upper respiratory tract is less often affected (rhinitis, bronchial obstruction). Diagnostics includes anamnesis collection, clinical examination, skin application tests and laboratory tests. Treatment involves the rejection of problematic cosmetics, the use of antihistamines and topical glucocorticosteroids.
L23.2 Allergic contact dermatitis caused by cosmetics
Makeup allergies is an increased sensitivity of the body to certain cosmetic products and components contained in its composition with the development of a delayed allergic reaction (with urticaria and allergic contact inflammation of the skin) or non-immunological reactions (with simple dermatitis). According to statistics, every adult uses at least 5-7 cosmetics daily, while at least one case of intolerance is observed during the life of every tenth inhabitant of our planet. Most often allergic reactions occur in women aged 20-30 years, especially if they have dry and damaged skin. In the USA, from 50 to 150 thousand cases of intolerance to cosmetic preparations are detected annually.
Makeup allergies can be caused by any product applied to the skin, lips, hair and nails to cleanse, protect, improve appearance and give a pleasant smell. This applies to perfumes, deodorants, shaving products, lipsticks, creams, shampoos, nail polishes, dyes, bath products, toothpastes and sunscreens. In the production of cosmetics, more than 70 thousand different organic and inorganic components are used, almost all of them can cause allergic reactions, chemical irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.
Among potentially dangerous substances are natural and synthetic oils and fats (fish oil, lanolin, castor oil, gelatin), emulsifiers (lauryl, triethanolamine), preservatives (propylene glycol and formaldehyde), perfumes, herbal infusions and extracts, enzymes, etc. The pathological process occurs when the antigen comes into direct contact with the skin (applying cream, lipstick, paint), remotely (sprays, deodorants), by airborne droplets (during aromatherapy, when inhaling vapors from another person’s perfumes), when exposed to ultraviolet radiation on the skin and activated under its influence of allergens that previously penetrated into the body.
The mechanism of development of the pathological process in case of makeup allergies is due to delayed hypersensitivity, which occurs when a full-fledged allergen or hapten enters the skin, which becomes a full-fledged antigen after binding to tissue proteins. During the initial contact with the problematic substance, lymphocytes are sensitized, with repeated activation of macrophages by T-cells, the development of allergic inflammation with predominant cell infiltration and minor vascular changes.
The maximum severity of the delayed type reaction is noted after 12-20 hours and is manifested by signs of skin damage (mononuclear infiltration, swelling of the epidermis, the formation of bubbles). Hypersensitivity develops most easily with a hereditary predisposition to allergic manifestations, excessive sweating, thinned stratum corneum of the skin and hypersensitivity of the skin to the effects of individual components of cosmetics.
Symptoms of makeup allergies
Clinical symptoms are characterized by the development of skin manifestations in the form of dermatitis, urticaria and photosensitization. Much less often (when inhaling vapors and aerosols of perfume products), signs of allergic rhinosinusopathy and bronchial asthma are observed. The lesion of the skin without an immunological reaction often occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to a problematic remedy and is manifested first by dry skin, then by the appearance of maceration, itchy cracks and vesicles. In addition, persistent erythema, peeling and hyperkeratosis may be detected in local areas of the skin. In the presence of alkaline or acidic properties of the drug, the formation of large bubbles accompanied by burning and pain is possible.
Allergic inflammatory lesion of the skin has a similar clinical picture and in 80% of cases is localized on the face and neck. Less often, the nail plates of the hands are involved in the process. With allergies, there is more pronounced redness and swelling of the skin, multiple vesicles are more often detected. The affected area can capture areas that have not been in direct contact with the antigen.
Allergic inflammation on the face is most often localized in the upper and lower eyelids due to the thinness of the skin and its hypersensitivity in these areas, as well as regular traumatization during contact with contaminated fingers and chemicals contained in the air. Damage to the skin of the eyelids is manifested by redness, peeling, swelling and itching. Often, the inflammatory process in the face area occurs due to skin irritation in contact with artificial nails or aggressive substances contained in nail polish. At the same time, limited areas of lesion are determined in the area of the eyelids, corners of the eyes, behind the ears.
Signs of hypersensitivity in the area of the red border of the lips are observed when using lipstick and manifest symptoms of cheilitis. Damage to the perioral area and the oral cavity can be noted when using toothpaste. Less often, signs of makeup allergies (shampoos, hair styling products) are found in the scalp in the form of redness, peeling, puffiness of the skin and itching. The development of cosmetic photosensitization under intense ultraviolet irradiation leads to the appearance of symptoms of dermatitis, urticaria and edematous erythema.
Diagnostics includes a thorough collection of information about the diseases suffered and the cosmetics used, conducting a clinical examination by an allergist-immunologist, dermatovenerologist, dentist and other specialists, analyzing the results of studies used in clinical allergology. The use of application tests is the basis for detecting allergies to cosmetics. The tests are carried out in the inter-access period, the problematic agent is applied to the skin of the back or forearm for two days, after which the result of the study is evaluated again after 30 minutes, and then 3, 4 and 5 days after the removal of the drug. Laboratory research methods (migration inhibition reactions, rosette formation, etc.) are less specific. Differential diagnosis is carried out with simple contact dermatitis, neurodermatitis, other non-allergic and allergic pathological conditions.
Treatment of makeup allergies
It is necessary to ensure the early termination of contact with the problematic cosmetic product, its removal from the surface of the skin and mucous membranes. In the acute stage of makeup allergies, local preparations are used to reduce the manifestations of the disease (cooling compresses and tanning decoctions, Burov liquid). Glucocorticosteroid hormones (topically, orally and parenterally) and antihistamines are used.
Prognosis and prevention
The course of makeup allergies is prognostically favorable. After stopping the use of cosmetics that caused allergic reactions, hypersensitivity phenomena disappear. In case of developing a cross-allergy, it may be necessary to refuse to use any cosmetic products. The development of angioedema or anaphylactic shock is dangerous, but such reactions are rare. Prevention consists in the professional selection of high-quality cosmetics and perfumes, the use of hypoallergenic products for daily skin care. When buying a new unknown cosmetics, it is necessary to study the list of ingredients, pre-perform an application test on a limited area of the skin.