Being exposed to an allergen repeatedly can be classed as an allergic reaction. It doesn’t have to be something new; an allergic reaction can be caused by an ingredient which in the past has been fine. The body’s immune system is meant to fight against reactions or infections but can occasionally get it wrong. With eczema and psoriasis it can be aggravated by certain allergens which fortunately can be alleviated or improved by avoiding contact with the cause and using skincare products that will help to clear it up. It isn’t clear what causes an allergic reaction as it varies from person to person, but if the skin condition is under control then it is easier to figure out what the triggers are, so they can be avoided. An allergy can be lifelong, though not always.
If your skin is sensitive or you feel you may react to an ingredient, then it is a good idea to always patch test a little of the product on the inside of your wrist a couple of times to see whether or not there is a reaction. Remember, a reaction is not the same as an allergic reaction. If there is a slight increase in the redness of the skin that subsides after a couple of minutes with no physical pain, then it is more likely a reaction if your skin is sensitive (caused by eczema or psoriasis) rather than an allergic reaction. Ingredients by law have to be present on the packaging of all products (INCI names) so you can identify any potential allergen you know you may have. They are not always easy to understand of course, as they have to be the botanical name of the plants or ingredient present in the product. If unsure, then consult the manufacturer or look it up on the internet to get the common name for the ingredient.
Fragrances and preservatives are the most common causes of reactions in skincare and cosmetic products. There are many different types of fragrances so look for products with natural or organic essential oils in. They are there for their therapeutic values too, not just to make the product smell nice! Preservatives are more of a common cause and again it is important to look for a natural preservative rather than a product with a chemical one in which can be much harsher on sensitive skin.