What You Should Know About Perfume Allergies

With thousands of fragrances on the market, it is not only likely that some people will develop allergies to some perfumes, it is a certainty.  In fact, back in 1999 the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) identified 26 ingredients as allergens in perfume.  As a result of this, some 2 million people suffer allergic reactions to one of more of the many ingredients in perfume.  Some of the symptoms of perfume allergies include:

  • Headaches.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Worsening asthma symptoms.
  • Runny and stuffy nose.
  • Sneezing.
  • A skin allergy like contact dermatitis — an itchy, red rash that appears on the skin.

Fortunately only a small number of fragrances actually cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  The allergens that do and that are also present in other cosmetics include Cinnamic alcohol, Eugenol, Hydroxycitronellal, Oak moss absolute and others.

Identifying a Perfume Allergy

The problem with identifying which ingredient in a particular perfume is causing an allergic reaction is tricky since there are so many ingredients in fragrance products.  The best way to identify the specific ingredient causing a reaction is by patch testing.  A positive patch test result to a particular fragrance indicates that you are allergic to one or more fragrance chemicals.  An estimated 1-2% of the general population is allergic to one or more fragrance ingredients.

Treating a Perfume Allergy

While some doctors doubt that the fragrance itself is the cause of most “fragrance” allergies and believe that these reactions caused by some ingredient in a particular perfume, there can be no doubt that fragrance sensitivity is on the rise.  The best way to treat an allergy once it has been identified is to stop using the perfume in question.  If that ingredient is common to other scent-based products that you use it is also advised that you stop using those items as well.  The next best way to treat a perfume allergy is with nasal antihistamines and corticosteroid medications.  Both can control allergy symptoms caused by these sensitivities.  Ultimately, discovering that you have an allergic reaction to a particular perfume may cause you to seek out what may be an even better, more compatible perfume.  At Lilydirect we have a vast selection of perfumes and other fragrances that you can experiment with until you find the right scent that is safe and that helps you make your own unique statement about who you are.  If you believe you are developing an allergy to any fragrance consult with a dermatologist so that he/she can narrow down the specific cause and can develop a course of treatment.

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