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Contact Allergy – Allergen of The Year!

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:

2016 Cobalt —-found in in paint, glazes, Vitamin B12 supplements, orthopedic or dental implants
2015 Formaldehyde —-found in finish treatment for textiles (durable press), cosmetics, cleaning products
2014 Benzophenones —found in sunscreens, perfumes, soaps, lip balm, nail polish, hair spray and dyes
2013 Methylisothiazolinone —found in sunscreens, cosmetics, desinfectants, wipes, suncreens, tanners, make-up removers
2012 Acrylate — found in bone cement, coating for plastics, artificial nails, laquers, anti-freeze, medical spray adhesives
2011 Dimethyl fumarate — found in leather goods and packaging for transport of leather items
2010 Neomycin —- found in topical ointments, ear drops, eye preparations
2009 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
2008 Nickel—found in earrings, watches, jeans stud, also in many foods
2007 Fragrance—- many cosmetic products
2006 p-Phenylenediamine—-hair, cosmetic, fabric dyes, temporary tattoos
Dr. Corina Bowser

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