Anyone who has inflammatory skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, or is already an allergic person, should not use creams or soaps that contain potential food allergens, such as almond or goat milk. The risk? Develop an allergy to that food.
The results of a study
The suggestion comes from a small study published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergyin which seven patients, after using goat’s milk-based skin care products, and all with inflammatory skin diseases and / or rhinitis (except one), experienced anaphylaxis after eating various types of dairy products (cheese goat, buffalo mozzarella, ice cream …).
“Our findings provide additional insight into how milk allergy arises in adulthood,” the study authors write, “and add to the growing body of evidence that the use of foods as a therapy for inflammatory skin conditions. it can lead to the development of new food allergies “.
What is transdermal sensitization
Transdermal sensitization, linked to repeated contact with the allergen on the skin, is a well documented mechanism in the pediatric population, when it is common for children to play with food (e.g. milk or eggs), including on the skin of the face.
“This study shows that the same thing can also happen in the adult population, even if the sample considered is small”, says Enrico Hefflerdirector of the School of Specialization in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Humanitas University.
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“It is true that sensitizations to allergens can appear at any age, but this, mediated by contact with food allergens, had only been documented in children, especially in those with atopic dermatitis.”
Atopic dermatitis as a risk factor
Why is atopic dermatitis a risk factor for food allergies? “Because it is a disease in which there is an alteration of the skin cell junctions, which hold the cells tight to each other”, continues the allergist.
“In patients with atopic dermatitis it is as if the skin had micro holes, therefore a lesser ability to act as a barrier against allergens, which instead penetrate the skin more easily by coming into contact with the cells of the immune system. And in a person with atopic dermatitis the immune response is almost always an allergic type reaction, because the body is genetically predisposed to develop a class of antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE), responsible for allergic reactions “.
Secondly, this study also demonstrates that sensitization to food allergens can derive not only from direct contact with foods that contain the allergen – as occurs among children who often play with it – but also indirectly, with cosmetic products that contain that allergen. ‘food.
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“This means an important thing”, Heffler resumes and concludes, “and that is that those who are predisposed to allergies, because for example already suffer from asthma or rhinitis, or have inflammatory skin diseases, should only use hypoallergenic products, which do not contain any type of potentially allergic substance. Cosmetic products such as the one tested in the study, or based on other allergens, such as almonds, even if indicated for sensitive skin, should not be used by people predisposed to allergies or already with allergies, even if they are sold and seen as natural products. Natural, in fact, does not mean hypoallergenic “.
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