Allergic reaction to lip products (allergic contact cheilitis) is not common, however when it takes place the resulting inflammation, swelling and skin rash can be upsetting.
Lip products include numerous components that can cause an allergy in the lips and surrounding skin. You can manage the response by following standard remedies for other skin allergy.
Lipsticks and other lipcare products such as lipliners, lip balms/salves, lip gloss, lip plumpers and sun blocks can cause:
- eczematous cheilitis: allergic contact cheilitis, irritant contact cheilitis
- pigmented contact cheilitis
- contact urticaria
- contact leukoderma
Cheilitis is the medical term for swollen lips. A basic lipstick is composed of the stick, emollient, solvent for the dyes, preservatives/anti-oxidants, perfumes/flavourings and colours. Further chemical representatives might be included for gloss, water-resistance, sealant, cushioning, texture and richness.
Allergic Contact Cheilitis Due to Lip Cosmetics
Lipsticks and lipcare products are the commonest cause of allergic contact cheilitis in women. And as the majority of patients providing with cheilitis are women, this makes these products the most common general source of allergens.
Toy makeup may include high levels of scents and metals, above those suggested for cosmetics, and might play a role in sensitization. Lipsticks are considered as moderate-risk cosmetics for the development of allergic reactions.
Lipsticks and other lip care products are the significant causes of allergic cheilitis of the vermilion margin, where the skin and red lip meet. In some cases the reaction extends onto adjacent perioral skin, with or without participation of the angles of the mouth.
The reaction might provide in either severe or more persistent chronic kinds.
Acute allergic contact cheilitis might simulate contact urticaria, with swelling and small blisters within minutes of contact with the allergen. The response might infect the face and neck.
The chronic kind, nevertheless, provides with redness, scaling or dryness, and itch. There may be associated mild swelling. Generally it starts within hours of contact and might persist for days, weeks or months if exposure to the irritant continues.
Pigmented allergic contact cheilitis has also been reported due to lipsticks.
How is Allergic Cheilitis to Lip Cosmetics Detected?
Spot testing is the examination for contact allergic reaction due to Type IV (postponed) hypersensitivity.
Spot testing ought to include the standard series and an extended series such as perfumes/flavourings and other elements discovered in lipcare products. It is important to likewise test the patient’s own products as in a substantial number of cases the patient just reacts to these.
Lots of cosmetic business are willing to co-operate with dermatologists to find the particular allergen in their item. They will normally supply de-identified samples which can be used for patch screening, and will then recognize the chemical that gives a favorable patch test.
This suggests the patient knows what to avoid in future and supplies the cosmetic business with feedback about a possible issue with their item. It is not unusual for a patient to react to more than one irritant in lipcare products.
Treatment for Allergic Cheilitis
Avoidance of the irritant generally leads to resolution of the inflammation. Often however there is more than one contributing element to the cheilitis and it is therefore essential to be re-assessed if the cheilitis persists in spite of not using the identified product.
Whether you have been using a lip product for some time or simply applied one and experienced an allergic reaction, take the following actions to handle your symptoms and avoid a more severe response or a reoccurrence:
- Instantly wash off the item that you believe caused your lip allergic reaction or inflammation and cease using it.
- Stop using any other lip products till the problem fixes.
Use one or more basic remedies suggested by the Mayo Clinic for any skin contact dermatitis:
- Use a cool wet washcloth to your lips for 15 to 30 minutes numerous times a day for symptomatic relief.
Gently use a small amount of non-prescription, 1% hydrocortisone cream or ointment to your lips and any afflicted skin and let it take in for some time before drinking or eating.
For severe itching or rash you might have to take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl, but talk to your doctor first.
Prevent using any extreme products to clean your face and keep your lips clean and dry.
- Avoid licking your lips as this can cause dryness or additional irritation.
If the issue does not enhance in 2 to 3 days, or worsens, see your doctor for additional treatment such as a more powerful steroid cream or other antihistamine.
He might also recommend skin allergic reaction testing, which can help you recognize and avoid products with the angering active ingredients. See your doctor sooner if you also have a rash or itching on other areas of your body.
Allergens and Irritants in Lip Products
Eosin, or a pollutant of it, was the commonest irritant recognized in lipsticks up until 1960. Ever since eosin has actually been used less typically in lipstick formulations and is likewise more highly purified, so is seldom an issue now.
Ricinoleic acid, the main constituent of castor oil, has actually been determined in several large case series as the commonest current cause of allergic cheilitis due to lip cosmetics.
Some other irritants identified in lipsticks and lipcare products as causing allergic cheilitis reactions:
- Nickel– from the metal housing
- Perfumes and flavourings– scent mix; Myroxylon pereirae; citral; cinnamaldehyde; peppermint oil; vanilla; geraniol;
Emollients– lanolin; castor oil; olive oil; almond oil; coconut oil; branched chain fat esters such as glyceryl diisostearate, diisostearyl malate, glyceryl monoisostearate monomyristate; propylene glycol; oleyl alcohol; 12-hydroxystearic acid (major fat in hydrogenated castor oil); isopalmityl diglyceryl sebacate (DGS)– was synthesised as a replacement for castor oil in Japan and exported to other Asian countries, but not to Europe. It is already being withdrawn from lipsticks and lip gloss.
- Solvent for dyes– castor oil
Colours– D&C Yellow # 11; D&C Red # 7, 17, 21 (eosin), 36; Lithol Rubine BCA; quinazoline yellow
- Preservatives/anti-oxidants– propyl gallate
- Sun blocks– benzophenone-3
- Gloss– colophonium and its acquired ester gum (main irritant believed to be glyceryl-1-mono abietate); propolis (and other propolis-related substances consisting of cera alba, propolis cerus, beeswax acid, artificial beeswax) is likewise used as an emulsifier and thickening representative in cosmetics
Waterproof movie– polyvinylpyrrolidone/ hexadecene copolymer (also used to improve stick stability, give an abundant feel and distribute the pigment).
- Bisabolol (primary active component in chamomile).
- Cushioning/texture– di-isostearyl malate (fatty ester).
- Vitamin E.
Irritant Contact Cheilitis Due to Lip Cosmetics
Irritant contact cheilitis is a diagnosis of exclusion, made when examinations for an allergic cause have been negative, the patient is not atopic and lip-licking has actually not been observed. Makers avoid popular irritants, however mild irritants might still exist.
Some components of lipcare products can be both irritant and allergenic. Examples of such irritants include: olive oil, citral, shellac and cinnamon.
Similar to allergic contact cheilitis, there must be an improvement when the source of inflammation is avoided. Lip licking in response to the dryness, might however continue an irritant dermatitis regardless of avoiding the original irritant.
Contact Urticaria Due to Lip Plumpers
Lip plumpers are cosmetics used to increase the obvious volume of the lips either by vasodilation or hydration. Vasodilation might be accomplished by one of three systems:.
- Nonimmunological contact urticaria– is the most frequent instant contact response and is because of cinnamon and cayenne pepper impacting prostaglandin metabolic process. It might look like irritant contact cheilitis clinically.
- Irritant contact cheilitis– is the most typical reaction to spices such as cinnamon and cayenne pepper which act on receptors that release substance P.
- Direct vasodilation effect– benzyl nicotinate, L-arginine.
Lip swelling is the wanted result following use of lip plumper. However a kiss right after application of the product might result in an unintentional transfer of the reaction.
To keep your lip moistened, attempt applying a thin layer of an oil such as coconut, olive, sunflower or vitamin E, or shea butter. Although coconut and vitamin E oils are on the list of prospective irritants, they are less most likely to cause an allergic reaction than others on the list.
One of the advantages of using a pure, single oil with no ingredients is that if you respond to it you will understand the culprit. Do not continue to apply an oil if it intensifies your lip condition.
Speak to your doctor about alternative products that don’t include the ingredients you dislike. After allergy testing he can enter your allergens in the Contact Allergen Replacement Database (CARD), developed by a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, to find a list of products that don’t contain them. You can likewise attempt doing the search yourself by downloading the CARD app to your phone.
Although allergic reaction to lip products is not typical, everybody is at risk given the number of allergenic representatives in cosmetics and individual care products. To decrease your possibility of an allergy or becoming sensitized to an irritant, use products with few ingredients.
If you have an allergy to a product, stop using it to prevent a more severe response or a reoccurrence, and apply simple remedies. See your doctor if the problem is severe, upsetting, or persistent.
Good luck! Have a nice weekend!