In an interview with HCPLivePeter A. Young, MPAS, discussed his team’s research on personal care products (PCPs), such as lotions and fragrances, containing ingredients that can lead to allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).
Young and Haiwen Gui, both from the Department of Dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine, led their research team in evaluating contact allergens in personal care products labeled as “natural” (NCPS).
“I have patients quite often who complain of skin problems, irritation, redness, rashes,” Young said. “And when we discuss possible triggers or causes, they are very confident that the trigger or cause cannot be related to the products they use on their skin because they only use ‘natural’ skin care products.”
Young added that after discussing this situation with several of his patients, he realized there might be some value in evaluating allergens and their association with NCPS.
This led his team to examine 1651 NPCPs that met the exclusion criteria, finding that 1555 were composed of ≥1 contact allergen. The researchers also found that 1,478 had ≥1 allergen included in the Contact Allergy Management Program (CAMP), a set of the 100 most prevalent clinically.
The team also found that 96 of the 1,651 NPCPs analyzed did not contain contact allergens.
“The claim on the product label that it’s ‘natural’ is pretty unregulated,” Young added. “Skin care products are not food and they are not drugs, so they are not actually regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in our country. Because of that, companies can put a lot of things on the label that aren’t necessarily subject to a rigorous inspection process or a rigorous management process.”
The researchers’ study may help health care providers better guide consumers toward purchases of personal care products that could lead to fewer cases of ACD and other allergen reactions.
Watch the full interview with Young above to learn more about the team’s findings.