Wednesday January 22, 2020

Here’s Why Some Cosmetics May Cause a Skin Rash

These chemicals included Balsam of Peru and farnesol, which are found in many personal care products, such as skin creams, toothpaste, and fragrances

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Cosmetic Industry
The cosmetics market of India is expected to triple by 2025. Wikimedia Commons

Do you know why many different chemical compounds found in creams, cosmetics, and other topical consumer products trigger allergic reactions in the skin? The way some chemicals displace natural fat-like molecules — called lipids — in skin cells may be the culprit, suggests new research.

This discovery, published in the journal Science Immunology, raises the possibility that allergic contact dermatitis could be stopped by applying competing lipids to the skin to displace those triggering the immune reaction.

Currently, the only way to stop allergic contact dermatitis is to identify and avoid contact with the offending chemical. Topical ointments can help sooth the rashes, which usually clear up in less than a month.

In severe cases, physicians may prescribe oral corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory agents that suppress the immune system, increasing the risk of infections and other side effects.

An allergic reaction begins when the immune system’s T cells recognise a chemical as foreign. T cells do not directly recognise small chemicals, and research suggests that these compounds need to undergo a chemical reaction with larger proteins in order to make themselves visible to T cells.

“However, many small compounds in skincare products that trigger allergic contact dermatitis lack the chemical groups needed for this reaction to occur,” said study co-leader Annemieke de Jong, Assistant Professor of dermatology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.

Every year, the sale of fairness creams keeps growing because of women's obsession with white skin
Cosmetics make a thriving business. Pixabay

“These small chemicals should be invisible to T cells, but they’re not,” De Jong said.

De Jong and her colleagues suspected that CD1a, a molecule that is abundant on Langerhans cells (immune cells in the skin’s outer layer), might be responsible for making these chemicals visible to T cells.

In the current study, conducted with human cells in tissue culture, the researchers found that several common chemicals known to trigger allergic contact dermatitis were able to bind to CD1a molecules on the surface of Langerhans cells and activate T cells.

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These chemicals included Balsam of Peru and farnesol, which are found in many personal care products, such as skin creams, toothpaste, and fragrances.

Within Balsam of Peru, the researchers identified benzyl benzoate and benzyl cinnamate as the chemicals responsible for the reaction, and overall they identified more than a dozen small chemicals that activated T cells through CD1a. (IANS)

Next Story

Here are Ways to Deal with Acne Breakouts

Dealing with acne breakouts can be tough, especially in a busy lifestyle.

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Acne Breakouts
Dealing with acne breakouts can be tough, especially in a busy lifestyle. Pixabay

Dealing with acne breakouts can be tough, especially in a busy lifestyle.

Skin experts suggest the best ways to control acne and get clear skin. Inputs from Dr. Navin Taneja, The National Skin Centre, New Delhi and Lalita Arya, Vice President, Dermapuritys.

1. Wash your face 3-4 times a day with a PH balance cleanser

Your regular face wash with water and a PH balance cleanser is the answer for mild to moderate acne. Frequent washing of your face will remove excessive build up of dirt, oil, bacteria and other pollutants from the surface of your skin. Not washing your face means your pores will become clogged and it will result in more acne. The regular care of your skin will reduce the number of breakouts and will give you clear glowing skin. It is very important to consult a dermatologist for severe cystic acne to understand, treat and prevent acne scars.

Use a correct everyday skincare regime including cleansing, toning and moisturizing the skin as per your skin type.

Acne breakouts
The most important way to deal with acne breakouts is to not pop pimples. Pixabay

2. Do not apply comedogenic thick cream and makeup

A comedogenic thick cream, foundation, makeup will block oil glands pores giving rise to more blackheads, whitehead and eventually more acne formation. Avoid wearing facial makeup, liquid foundation, thick concealer, greasy sunscreen as they will make your acne worse. It is recommended to find yourself a non-comedogenic oil-free moisturizer, sunblock which should not clog the pores or even increase the chance of getting more acne. Avoid hair oil and serums over the scalp and shampoo every alternate day to prevent oil induced acne on the forehead.

3. Do not pop or squeeze pimples

Never pop or squeeze acne. It will increase inflammation in the surrounding skin leading to more acne formation and scarring. Squeezing your acne can infect the acne and worsen the condition. Healing will take longer and scarring will be severe. If irritation happens one can possibly wash and apply calamine lotion to soothe the skin.

Also Read- Here’s How Sugar Relates to Cancer

Use medicated creams and correct treatment for inflammation as prescribed by the doctors to avoid the spread of infection. Avoid self-medicating as it can worsen the problem and lead to more infection. (IANS)