Imagine sitting at a restaurant, enjoying a delicious meal, and breaking out in hives. Now imagine the same situation but without the food. Although food-related skin allergies are often the first to come to mind, food isn’t the only trigger for reactions.
Many of us have daily skin-related regimens, such as the application of skin care products, make-up and soap. It is important to remember any product applied to skin can cause discomfort.
Whenever any adverse reaction occurs, such as:
- Skin irritation
it is prudent to identify the cause of the reaction. One of the best methods for determining the source of an allergic reaction is spot testing. Spot testing involves testing individual products in small areas on the body. This should help identify the product(s) that caused the irritation or allergy. It may also help in identifying a specific ingredient a person is sensitive to.
To conduct a Spot Test:
- Place a small amount of a single product on the inner side of the upper arm
- Apply a different product to the inner side of the upper arm, but in a separate spot
- Continue to apply as many products as necessary, using only a single product in each spot. Do NOT layer products
- Record which product you applied to which spot
- Continue the Spot Test for a full week, applying products to their original spot with the same frequency as you were applying them to your facial skin (e.g., twice daily)
- If irritation occurs, discontinue use of that product immediately and contact the manufacturer
- Write down the ingredients from the product label of the irritating product
It is also best, when possible, to switch over to skin care products that are formulated to be lightweight, gentle and non-irritating. For example, Theraderm Gentle Facial Moisturizer was designed for sensitive and allergy-prone skin, while Theraderm Enlighten Skin Brightener lightens dark spots and brightens skin without irritation. It is important to understand what each product is designed for and to keep your skin in mind when choosing a skin-care routine.
By following the above tips, you can make certain that a great day never has to end in great pain.