Fragrances, including perfumes and body sprays are considered the leading cause of cosmetic contact dermatitis. Dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a group of diseases that results in inflammation of the skin. These diseases are characterized by itchiness, red skin, and a rash. In cases of short duration there may be small blisters while in long-term cases the skin may become thickened.
- If anyone get a headache, have trouble breathing, or develop a skin rash after exposure to strong perfumes or colognes, then he/she could have fragrance sensitivity.
- Unlike tree pollen or dander, for example, perfumes and scents aren't actually allergens, they're irritants, but they can also trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing.
- In fairly simple terms, a true allergen causes a person's immune system to release chemicals to fight the invader. It's an age mediated immune response.
- An irritant, on the other hand, doesn't provoke the immune system. Its immunological cause is unknown. But it also makes eyes water or noses run.
As a health problem, this sensitivity alone affects more than 2 million people, ad increasing.
Symptoms of Fragrance Sensitivity:
There can be types of allergy symptoms due to fragrance sensitivity, respiratory, nose and eye symptoms or skin allergy symptoms.
Risk factor for Fragrance sensitivity:
- People having asthma may be more sensitive to fragrances and may experience allergy symptoms or worsening asthma symptoms from exposure to perfumes, fragrances, and other chemicals.
- People already having allergies, like seasonal allergies or allergies to indoor allergens like molds and animal allergens, may be more likely to experience fragrance sensitivities.
Diagnosis of Fragrance sensitivity:
- Patch test-The diagnosis is made by patch testing with a mixture of fragrance ingredients, the fragrance mix. This gives a positive patch-test reaction in about 10% of tested patients with eczema, and the most recent estimates show that 1.7-4.1% of the general population are sensitized to ingredients of the fragrance mix.
Treatment and prevention of Fragrance sensitivity:
- Nasal antihistamine and nasal corticosteroid medications can effectively control allergy symptoms caused by these sensitivities.
- But the best way to treat is by keeping out all kind of fragrances from yourself and your environment.
- Using skin care products, fabric softener, soaps, laundry detergents and other products which are free of hard perfumes.
- Using cleaning and deodorizing products in homes that doesn't contain fragrances.