Surprise allergies from natural skincare products

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ST. LOUIS, MO. - Dermatologists in America are seeing a rise in regards to allergies caused by people using natural skincare products. Natural skincare products containing lavender, jasmine and other botanical substances are causing consumers to develop "contact dermatitis."

Contact dermatitis is caused by things touching your skin, most other allergies are ingestion or inhalation induced. Contact dermatitis typically causes a rash or blisters  where the product touches your skin, such as poison ivy. Dermatologist Dr. Madhavi Kandula gave FOX 2 tips of what to look for when choosing your skincare products.

Allergic contact dermatitis can be caused by a wide variety of substances, including poison ivy. Gauging how many people suffer from allergies to botanical ingredients in personal-care products is difficult. A group of 14 specialized dermatologists, known as the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, tracks which substances cause allergic reactions in its patient testing.

The dermatologist group also sees allergies to certain natural oils, such as ylang-ylang and tea tree oil, which each sparked reactions in about 1% of people, according to Erin Warshaw, a member of the group and a professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Patients often assume plant-derived oils and balms are safer than traditional alternatives, Dr. Warshaw says. They may even use them to treat a rash, which might make it worse. 'There`s a lot of denial it could be causing the problem,' says Dr. Warshaw. 'It`s like putting poison ivy on poison-ivy' rash.

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