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Sensitive Skin? 8 Tips for Preventing Contact Dermatitis

By Mark Stephen Thevenot

Skin care products, makeup, perfumes and other cosmetics are a large part of our life.

Nothing can ruin your day like a rash on your face. They seem to magically appear just before the big reveal. For all of us, especially those with sensitive skin, "irritant contact dermatitis or the more serious "allergic contact dermatitis is a risk associated with any chemical substance applied to our skin. Fortunately, severe allergic reactions to cosmetics are rare. Unfortunately, mild or even severe skin irritations, which can include itchy red patches, swelling, burning or stinging, blistering and later scaling and peeling, are not uncommon. Here are some practical tips which can reduce your chances of experiencing skin reactions to cosmetics:

1)Look for products that are hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. These are less likely to cause a problem. I prefer to select products with simple formulas, thus fewer ingredients. This helps me narrow down the offending ingredient if I experience a problem. I find that "natural or "organic products seem safer to me, but by all means, this doesn't mean they cannot give you a rash.

2)Try a skin test by applying the product to your inner wrist and wait 24 hours to see if you develop a negative reaction.

3)If you use a product that irritates you skin - Stop applying any cosmetics to the affected area at once. In most cases of mild skin irritation, treatment with a low dosage over-the-counter topical ointment is recommended. However, your doctor should be consulted for proper treatment. He may also help you identify allergies through skin patch testing.

4)Do not share makeup or makeup applicators or brushes with anyone. You should use disposable applicators whenever available. Clean brushes and reusable applicators frequently.

5)Discard outdated products. Many products require preservatives. Over time they may no longer be effective against bacterial contamination.

6)Perfumes and fragrances are sometimes a cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Try putting these on your clothing rather than on your skin. Select fragrance"free cosmetics if you have experienced a problem with perfume in the past.

7)Read the product's directions for use and any warning labels. Follow the directions and heed the warnings. Avoid excessive or inappropriate use of any skin care product.

8)Read the label and make a note of the product's ingredients if you experience a negative reaction. This is the 1st step in the process of eventually identifying the ingredient that you should avoid in the future.

Following these simple tips cannot guarantee success but they should help you avoid that rash before your next Big Reveal.

About The Author
Mark Stephen Thevenot is a free-lance author of women-friendly articles and is currently developing a new web directory of women-friendly websites, More articles by this author may be viewed at

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