1. IRRITANT CONTACT DERMATITIS
This is the commonest skin disorder that can arise from the use of cosmetics. The most frequent presenting complaint is facial itch and rash.
Types of cosmetics causing irritant contact dermatitis include :
A. Cleansers : Facial cleansers, which often contain surfactants, that is necessary to facilitate proper cleansing of the skin.
B. Toners and astringents : Toners and astringents may contain alcohol or acids, like alpha-hydroxyacid (AHA). Some patients may develop skin problems from these products.
C. Facial treatment : Facial treatment involves the use of manual manipulation and application of chemicals on the skin, often resulting in exfoliation of the upper skin surface. Mild irritation is inevitable, but severe skin inflammation, like dermatitis can occur.
Excessive or inappropriate use of any of these skin care products and procedures can cause skin irritation, especially in individuals with sensitive skin or underlying skin diseases.
Signs & Symptoms
The patient may experience only burning or stinging sensation after applying the cosmetic on the skin.
In severe cases, itchiness, redness, swelling and later scaling and peeling of the skin can occur.
What to do when I suspect that I have irritation from cosmetics ?
Stop using all cosmetic products at once and remove the cosmetic with luke warm water from face. Consult your doctor. Do not seek treatment from beauticians or unqualified persons. Your doctor will treat you with effective medicine.
2. ALLERGIC CONTACT DERMATITIS
Another important skin disorder caused by cosmetics is allergic contact dermatitis. It occurs less frequently than irritant contact dermatitis. It is often difficult to differentiate between an allergic from an irritant contact dermatitis by the appearance of the rash alone. Cosmetics ingredients that can cause skin allergy include fragrances, preservatives and sunscreens.
Symptoms and signs cosmetics allergies
The patient may not experience any problem with the cosmetic initially.
An allergic reaction can occur even after repeated exposure to the incriminating substance.
Symptoms of cosmetic allergy include itchiness, redness, swelling or even blistering on the affected skin.
What to do after suspect of cosmetic allergy ?
Consult your doctor. You should stop applying all cosmetics on the affected skin or anywhere else immediately.
3. COSMETICS INDUCED PIMPLES (ACNE)
Acne or pimples can occur in patients who may or may not have past history of adolescent pimples. Some cosmetics, e.g. foundation and moisturizer which are left on the skin for long period of time can cause comedones (“blackheads” or “whiteheads”) and inflamed pimples to appear. Patients with cosmetic induced pimples are treated in the same way, as with all other ordinary pimples, i.e. appropriate creams/gels with or without oral medication, depending on the severity. Patients should preferably stop using any cosmetics till the skin improves. However, if the patient is uncomfortable with the blemishes on the skin during the healing process, they should use oil-free or low oil-content cosmetics.
4. SPECIAL COSMETIC ALLERGIES
air cosmetics (hair-dyes) : Hair-dye allergy is one of the commonest causes of cosmetic dermatitis in men and women. Some individuals are able to dye their hair initially without any problem, but may suddenly develop an allergy to the dye after repeated dyeing of hair. The face, ears and neck are often affected. The substance that often causes an allergy to hair-dye is para-phenylenediamine (PPD). It can be found in almost all brands of permanent hair dyes. Those who are allergic to PPD hair dyes must avoid all synthetic chemical hair dyes. The only suitable substitute here is Henna vegetable dye or metal pigment dyes.
Sunscreens protect our skin from sun damage. However it can also cause skin problems.
Besides being sold commercially as sun-blocking agents, they are also incorporated into numerous cosmetic products, like lipsticks and facial foundation.
Sunscreens can cause irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis and also photo-allergic contact dermatitis. Photo-allergic dermatitis differs from allergic contact dermatitis, as the rash occurs only after the skin comes into direct exposure with the combination of the allergic substance and sunlight.