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Allergic Contact Dermatitis, Cause and Prevention Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin condition, characterized by skin desquamation, redness and itchiness. The main sources for allergic contact dermatitis are skin care products, especially synthetic and chemical skin care, hair and nail care products: shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, body soaps, lotions, which contained fragrances, preservatives and sunscreens. The face is the prominent area for contact dermatitis but any body surface can be affected. Airborne allergens and irritants like pollutants, plant pollen, strong UV rays exposure, smoking, gloves, solvents can also be added to the skin dermatitis. Fragrances, especially artificial fragrances, Balsam of Peru, cinnamic aldehyde are the frequent allergens which can induce allergic contact dermatitis. Balsam of Peru is natural mixture of aromatic chemicals with a pleasant odor of cinnamein and essential oil containing cinnamic acid and vanillin. It is often used in cosmetic, pharmaceuticals and flavorings. A number of preservatives used in cosmetics like formaldehyde releaser (agents that slowly liberate small amount of formaldehyde) and parabens are the most likely to cause allergic dermatitis. In the same time harsh cleansers, astringents, acne medication and rejuvenating cream using AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) or other chemical products can expose your face to allergic contact dermatitis. Moisturizers containing alpha hydroxyl acid are widely used in reversing the signs of skin aging. Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) are a family of naturally occurring organic acids. Glycolic acid, derived from sugar cane is the most commonly used ingredient in superficial peeling. However, when this acid is applied in high concentration or for a long period of time, it results in detachment of the cells from epidermis (keratinocyes) and lysis of the epidermal cells (epidermolysis).This result, unbalances the skin barrier, which has a tremendous role in skin protection. Glycolic acid becomes efficient and safe when is used in a proper concentration. It has to be stated however, that it can be irritating for sensitive skin. Several sunscreen agents like para-amino benzoic, an ultraviolet UV B blocker, benzophenone, cinnamates dybenzoylmethanes can cause photo- allergic dermatitis. Some of them like oxybenzone, avobenzone (Parsol 1789), which blocks UVA are less frequent causes of dermatitis. To be on a safe side you may used moisturizers with antioxidants and get the same anti aging effect and provide protection of the skin barrier. By using different types of antioxidants, diverse metabolic pathways within the cells are activated. Most common antioxidants are: carotenes, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins. In conclusion, you have to be careful when using chemical skin care with fragrances, harsh preservatives, sunscreen and AHA. You have to learn reading the labels for those ingredients and subsequently eliminate them for your skin care routine. Dr. C.E. Budu has a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and two postdoctoral trainings in Pharmacology and Microbiology. She is the author of several peer reviewed articles in her field and co-author in a patent in cancer field. She developed TelBari Inc. Skin Care through which she created several formulations suitable for sensitive skin using only organic herbal extracts and genuine oils. Her belief is that feeding the skin with natural and useful compounds is as important as eating a healthy diet Company's Herbal skin remedies are well known for their fast relief from different skin ailments such as: eczema, psoriasis, stretch marks, cellulite, skin's restoration, dry and aged skin.
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