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And the winner goes to...

Jul 20, 2023
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This year's Contact Allergen of the Year has been announced by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Learn more about Lanolin and how it may be affecting you.

The American Contact Dermatitis Society just named Lanolin the Contact Allergen of the Year for 2023.

So what is lanolin?  Lanolin is a natural wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. It is a yellowish, semi-solid substance that is extracted from the wool of sheep. Lanolin acts as a protective and moisturizing agent for sheep's wool, helping to keep it soft and supple in harsh environments.

Lanolin is commonly used in skincare products due to its emollient and moisturizing properties. It is particularly effective at softening and smoothing rough, dry skin. Lanolin is also used in cosmetics, hair care products, and industrial applications, such as in the production of leather and lubricants.

What cosmetics and hair care products contain lanolin?

Lanolin is a popular ingredient in many cosmetic and hair care products due to its moisturizing and emollient properties. Some examples of cosmetic products that may contain lanolin are:

  • Lip balm
  • Hand cream
  • Body lotion
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Body wash
  • Bar soap

As for hair care products, lanolin can be found in:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair mask
  • Styling products such as pomades, waxes, and gels

Lanolin is especially useful in hair care products designed for dry, damaged, or chemically treated hair as it helps to restore moisture and soften the hair. However, it is worth noting that some people may be allergic to lanolin, so it is always important to check the ingredient list and perform a patch test before using a new product containing lanolin.

What are the industrial products that contain lanolin?

Lanolin is used in various industrial applications due to its unique properties, such as its water-resistant, lubricating, and protective characteristics. Some examples of industrial products that may contain lanolin are:

  • Leather products: Lanolin is used as a leather conditioner to soften and protect leather goods, such as shoes, bags, and jackets.
  • Rust preventatives: Lanolin can be used as a rust inhibitor and corrosion protectant for metal surfaces, such as tools and machinery.
  • Lubricants: Lanolin is added to lubricants to reduce friction and wear in machinery, including motors, bearings, and gears.
  • Polishes and waxes: Lanolin is used as an ingredient in polishes and waxes to provide a protective barrier and shine to various surfaces, such as cars, furniture, and floors.
  • Concrete form release agents: Lanolin is used as a concrete form release agent to prevent the concrete from sticking to the forms during the curing process.

Overall, lanolin's versatility and unique properties make it a valuable ingredient in a wide range of industrial applications.

What is a patch test?

A patch test is a simple procedure used to determine whether a particular substance causes an allergic reaction or irritation on the skin. The test involves applying a small amount of the substance to the skin on the inside of the forearm or on the back, and then covering the area with a bandage or patch. The patch is left in place for 24 to 72 hours, and the skin is then observed for any signs of irritation or allergic reaction.

Patch tests are commonly used to identify the cause of allergic contact dermatitis, a type of skin inflammation that occurs when the skin comes into contact with an allergen. Common allergens tested in patch tests include fragrances, preservatives, metals, and certain chemicals.

Patch tests are typically performed by dermatologists or allergists and can be helpful in diagnosing skin allergies. It is important to follow the instructions given by the healthcare professional performing the test, as well as to keep the test site dry and avoid scratching or rubbing the area during the testing period to ensure accurate results.

If you would like to be tested for your allergies or believe you might be a good candidate for patch testing, Dr. Wendt and her staff at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives would love to help.

Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives is located near Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, DC Ranch and Grayhawk at 21803 N. Scottsdale Road Ste. 200, on the corners of Deer Valley and Scottsdale Roads, and has convenient evening and early morning hours to accommodate your schedule.

Dr. Wendt is also available for telemedicine appointments as appropriate. Insurance plans accepted. Call 480-500-1902 today to schedule an appointment now and begin your allergy testing and treatment with Dr. Wendt at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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