Chrysanthemum parthenium (Feverfew):
While a favorite ingredient of natural skincare buffs because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) is on published lists of common allergens as part of the Compositae (Asteraceae) group. Of particular concern in this group, and in feverfew, are the flowers, leaves, stems and pollen which contain sesquiterpene lactones.
If you patch-tested positive for feverfew, watch out for similar types of plants. It is likely that similar chemical structures in related plants could cause your immune system to react as well, and give you multiple contact allergies. People with a compositae allergy should also avoid fragrances and related substances like rosin and propolis.
The Compositae or Asteraceae group (Aster is “star” in Greek, and refers to the shape of the flowers) includes sunflowers, daisies and asters, and over 20,000 other herbs, flowers, vegetables, and plants. If feverfew is a suspect, your doctor might include it in your patch test as an individual extract or in a group.
If you have a history of sensitive skin, don’t guess: random trial and error can cause more damage. Ask your dermatologist about a patch test.
On the prevalence of skin allergies, see Skin Allergies Are More Common Than Ever and One In Four Is Allergic to Common Skin Care And Cosmetic Ingredients.
To learn more about the VH-Rating System and hypoallergenicity, click here.
Regularly published reports on the most common allergens by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (based on over 28,000 patch test results, combined), plus other studies. Remember, we are all individuals — just because an ingredient is not on the most common allergen lists does not mean you cannot be sensitive to it, or that it will not become an allergen. These references, being based on so many patch test results, are a good basis but it is always best to get a patch test yourself.
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