Just because a woman has been using the same cosmetic product for years does not remove it from suspicion as the source of her cosmetic contact dermatitis. This allergic reaction to a cosmetic may be a delayed response by the immune system after months or years of uneventful use. Aside from the unexplainable workings of the immune system, a delayed reaction to a cosmetic may arise from the fact that although the name of a product remains constant; its ingredients may change.
When a cosmetic allergy does occur, it may be best to discontinue use of all cosmetics until the dermatitis clears. Then, the preparations may be re-introduced, one at a time, every three or four days, until the culprit is found. Even then, a patch test may be necessary to determine the specific ingredient responsible for the allergy.
Even “fragrance-free” and “hypo-allergenic” cosmetics may be at the root of cosmetic contact dermatitis. These terms are very loosely used and do not guarantee that you, yourself, will not have a reaction to them. In fact, any firm may use a term such as hypo-allergenic (reduces or minimizes allergies) if they can show that if they tested one hundred people and only fifty-one did not have an allergic reaction and even though forty-nine did have one. We tend to find that most firms have not tested on any group and they simply try to get away with the term knowing that they will most likely never be questioned on it.
If you are suffering the ill effects of dermatitis, there are a variety of measures we can take to bring you relief.