Skin Irritation vs. Allergic Reaction
Skin irritations can cause inflammation, itching, redness, and swelling of the skin. Irritated skin can be caused by a variety of factors. These include immune system disorders, medications and infections. When an allergen is responsible for triggering an immune system response, then it is an allergic skin condition.
Not to long ago my cousin was prescribed a medication which caused a very bad allergic reaction. One of the many issues which arose from this medication was that her skinned dried out and became like scales. She went from beautiful smooth skin to some unusual scaling skin which was very dry, itchy, and chapped.
The nurses were applying copious amounts of a commercial product which never seemed to help her skin. The skin would absorb the lotion and look as though lotion was NEVER applied. When I went to visit with her I decided to read the ingredients list of the hydration lotion used by the hospital. The ingredients were mostly natural, the two ingredients that I could possibly say would inhibit the effectiveness of the product was dimethicone and cyclomethicone. These two ingredients are man-made skin conditioners.
Side effects of dimethicone according to webMD; mild itching, burning, or stinging.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe or persistent itching, burning, or stinging; skin irritation; worsening dryness.
The using of cyclomethione, according to thedermreview.com: the molecules of this chemical are too large to enter human pores, thus leaving the product on the surface of the skin, creating a softer and smoother skin texture. Also, cyclomethicone molecules don’t tend to block the active ingredients from entering the skin, because they tend to leave significant amounts of space in between each other. Though cyclomethicone is believed to have a variety of benefits, there are some drawbacks to using this product, especially for those with sensitive skin. For example, this ingredient is a non-comedogenic, which means that it doesn’t clog pores or cling to skin, but has been known to cause minor skin and eye irritation.
The lotion the hospital was using would normally be good for someone with dry skin, but someone who has already had an allergic reaction, this product might not be effective and actually did cause further dryness.
The remedy was to change products. I returned to the hospital and applied the Emperor’s Avocado Cream. This particular crème has been effective for another customer with very bad eczema. The product calms and conditions the skin, while imparting a shine to the overall appearance of the skin. When my cousin told me her back was itching badly, she had the feeling that her skin was tearing apart, although it was very dry and scaly it was not bleeding. I applied the cream to her back and she commented that she felt a big relief. I also noticed the skin looked better and was absorbing the product while leaving the skin shiny. Although shiny isn’t the only end result it is to be stated the skin maintaining a shiny look means that the product is effective at handling dryness.
Although a lotion is 70% water and a cream is only 50% water the skin needed a little more care than water alone. After the first application my cousin’s skin looked better but with continual applications her skin began looking and feeling even better. She experienced less dryness and less itching.
The end lessons; when you have an allergic reaction to a product, stop using the product, and evaluate why the product may not have been effective for you. The lotion the hospital was using had two ingredients that under normal conditions would benefit the skin, but when someone has an extreme reaction to a chemical (the medication), it would be advisable to eliminate as many unnecessary chemicals as possible.