Every year the American Contact Dermatitis Society elects a “contact allergen of the year”. These are contact allergens can be found in cosmetics, jewelry, household and work products. We often have no idea that these contact allergens may be a problem. Not everybody is affected by contact allergy, only people who are sensitized. That means that the same lotion, cream, nail polish or hair dye may be fine for one person, but may cause a nasty contact dermatitis rash in another. This could be a long term blistering, a dry skin or even a bumpy rash all over someone’s body.
Contact dermatitis can be treated with steroid cream, lotion or ointment, but can be a long-term problem if the source is not identified. Your allergist can help by applying a patch test to test for the most common causes of contact allergy. For further information about contact allergens you can also check the website of the American contact dermatitis society or also check out Derm net New Zealand.
Here is a list of the Winners in the past 10 years with a description of where they can be found:
||Cobalt —-found in in paint, glazes, Vitamin B12 supplements, orthopedic or dental implants
||Formaldehyde —-found in finish treatment for textiles (durable press), cosmetics, cleaning products
||Benzophenones —found in sunscreens, perfumes, soaps, lip balm, nail polish, hair spray and dyes
||Methylisothiazolinone —found in sunscreens, cosmetics, desinfectants, wipes, suncreens, tanners, make-up removers
||Acrylate — found in bone cement, coating for plastics, artificial nails, laquers, anti-freeze, medical spray adhesives
||Dimethyl fumarate — found in leather goods and packaging for transport of leather items
||Neomycin —- found in topical ointments, ear drops, eye preparations
||Mixed dialkyl thiourea —found in neoprene rubber gloves, wet suits, orthopaedic sleeves, swim goggles, waders for fishing, insoles of athletic shoes and keyboard wrist supports
||Nickel—found in earrings, watches, jeans stud, also in many foods
||Fragrance—- many cosmetic products
||p-Phenylenediamine—-hair, cosmetic, fabric dyes, temporary tattoos