Not An Allergen (but be wary)
While “wood” is not listed in published allergen lists, you might be surprised to learn how often it can be the cause of skin irritations and allergies. Some of the most common culprits are:
- Paints, finishes, shellac, varnishes;
- Insecticides sprayed on or near the trees before they are cut down, and even on final wooden products (many countries require the fumigation of wooden goods or the crates they’re shipped in prior to export);
- Pollen and juices or substances from allergenic plants, flowers, and fruits can be transferred onto the tree by birds and insects; and
- There have been cases of contact allergies reported to wood that has come into contact with propolis, beeswax, or honey.
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.
To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com. Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, or for more privacy (such as when asking us to customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results) contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.
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.
2. W Uter et al. The European Baseline Series in 10 European Countries, 2005/2006–Results of the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA). Contact Dermatitis 61 (1), 31-38.7 2009
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