Chemicals in fragrances could trigger asthma and skin problems
21st September 2012
Next time you overdo it and shower yourself in perfume or aftershave, spray deodorant on, spray air freshener around the home, use scented candles or even scented toilet roll – think about what all these things could be doing to your health. We warn this as a leading health expert has spoke on the different ways, highlighting that part of the problem could be down to a ‘contact allergy’ that roughly one in 20 of us suffer from, and this number may be increasing. The contact allergy is in reference to when perfumes and other scented products cause eczema outbreaks as well as dermatitis when they touch the skin, and many more problems other than this can arise. It is believed that molecules in the fragrances trigger an immune response and result in the sufferer experiencing scaly, cracked, dry and itchy skin. Dr Susannah Baron, consultant dermatologist at Kent & Canterbury hospital, and BMI Chaucer Hospital, warns that more of the population may start to suffer from such problems in the future. She commented, “Allergies are on the increase, and the amount of perfumed products is also on the rise. Fragrance allergy can show up as contact dermatitis in the site a perfumed product is applied, or as a flare-up of existing eczema. It can be a real problem.” Dr Baron’s comments follow-on from July of this year when the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety requested that perfume manufacturers should state any possible allergens in their product after reports emerged regarding the risks of skin conditions flaring up after usage. Dr Baron further warns people to be careful regarding over-using fragranced products as it may not be fully obvious you have developed an intolerance or allergy. She continued, “You don’t react immediately; the body notes that it does not like the chemical and develops ‘memory cells’, which cause inflammation when the body is next exposed to this chemical. Gradually, as you are exposed more and more, the body ramps up its reaction, until it becomes more noticeable to you.” Even those without existing problems or allergies may be at risk of building up to eventually have a fragrance allergy. Dr Baron says, “You can become suddenly allergic to perfumes and personal care products that you have been using for years. You can also have problems with unexpected products such as scented toilet roll and scented wipes which can cause irritation.” However, it gets worse. People with skin and scalp conditions are not the only people who could suffer. Those who battle with regular migraines could see a more regular occurrence of severe headaches and experts further warn that products like plug-in deodorisers and mild air fresheners have chemicals in them that could induce an asthma attack. The charity Asthma UK claims that perfumes can affect the airways in asthma sufferers and result in breathing difficulties. Asthma UK are not the only ones to warn about the dangers though. Over in America, Dr Stanley Fineman, of the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic in the U.S., says he has conducted research that shows a clear alteration to lung function when the lungs come into contact with particular chemical fragrances. So what can be done then to avoid or manage all these potential problems? Firstly, if you do suffer with eczema, you should always try to only use non-fragranced emollient to wash your hands and body. Migraine sufferers would be advised to keep a diary that documents what particular products trigger a migraine and this will enable them to keep their exposure to an absolute minimum. Dermatitis is another issue that we touched upon earlier, and this can be treated with therapeutic medicated shampoo such as T/Gel which costs just £4.95 from Medical Specialists Pharmacy. In addition, if you have suffering with allergies and/or asthma then we are at hand to help. We have a vast range of medications to help both asthma and allergy sufferers, all at great prices. If you are suffering from asthma-like symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately for a diagnosis. Your doctor is able to prescribe medication if he feels you have asthma. If you have already been prescribed an inhaler or have lost your inhaler or run out and cannot get a prescription immediately, we are able to supply you an inhaler to help your asthma symptoms. For suitable patients we have both blue (relievers) inhalers such as Ventolin and Salbutamol, and brown (preventers) inhalers such as Qvar Beclomethasone and Qvar Easi-Breathe. If you suffer from hay fever or allergies we have many options for you including Alomide allergy eye drops , Loratadine tablets, Nasonex spray, Prevalin allergy nasal spray and Prevalin allergy kids nasal spray.