Can Shampoo Cause an Allergic Reaction?

Can Shampoo Cause an Allergic Reaction?

Lathering up your hair is part of your routine in the shower. Shampoo is formulated to clean your hair and your scalp, and it does an important job of removing oil, sweat, dead skin cells, dirt, and environmental pollutants. Shampoo should make your hair feel clean and keep your scalp moisturized, but if your head feels irritated and itchy after a shower, you might be allergic to your shampoo.

Contact dermatitis is a type of allergic reaction that happens when your skin comes in contact with a specific chemical or substance. It affects up to 24% of Americans, and toiletry products — like shampoo — are some of the top offenders.

The chemical sensitivities that cause contact dermatitis can be difficult to identify. Our team at Allergy & Environmental Treatment Center LLC can help. We work with you to diagnose allergies and treat or eliminate your symptoms.

Signs of a shampoo allergy

Shampoos are designed to promote hair and scalp health, but many shampoos contain 30-plus ingredients. Fragrances, botanicals, and surfactants are just a few of these common ingredients, and they can all cause contact dermatitis.

The most obvious sign of a shampoo allergy is a dry, itchy scalp. You might notice red, scaly patches of skin or even painful blisters that ooze. If you’re suspicious of your shampoo, look for signs of irritation on your:

Along with skin irritation, shampoo allergies may contribute dandruff and more severe symptoms like hair loss.

It’s important to note that contact dermatitis can develop anytime — the same shampoo you’ve used for years could suddenly start irritating your scalp. In these cases, it’s easy to overlook your shampoo as the culprit because you’ve used it for so long without any problems.

What to do about contact dermatitis

If you think you’re allergic to your shampoo, stop using it. Schedule a consultation for a professional evaluation and diagnosis that determines exactly which chemical sensitivities are triggering your symptoms.

At Allergy & Environmental Treatment Center LLC, we review your medical history and your symptoms. We talk to you about your environment and lifestyle to evaluate other possible allergens, and we may recommend allergy testing.

Avoiding the chemicals and substances you’re allergic to is the best way to prevent allergic reactions. Look for shampoos that don’t have added fragrance, surfactants, or botanicals. 

Fragrances may be formulated with synthetic chemicals or natural ingredients. Surfactants are ingredients that make your shampoo bubble up. Botanicals are natural elements that you might assume are a better choice than chemicals; however, ingredients like chamomile, lavender, and ylang-ylang are some of the most common triggers of contact dermatitis in toiletry products.

Don’t ignore the signs of contact dermatitis. Get help identifying the substances causing your allergic reaction at Allergy & Environmental Treatment Center LLC. Call our office in Scottsdale, Arizona, at 480-634-2985 or book an appointment online.

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