A Hair Dyeing Solution for the Dye-allergic Consumer

Jun 1, 2014 | Contact Author | By: Nicholas Blickenstaff and Garrett Coman, University of California at San Francisco and University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Ashley Edwards, Touro University, Vallejo, California; and Howard I. Maibach, MD, University of California at San Francisco
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Title: A Hair Dyeing Solution for the Dye-allergic Consumer
hair dyex colorx contact dermatitisx patch testingx PPDx lateral spreadx preventionx allergenx desensitizationx 2-methoxymethyl-p-phenylenediaminex
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Keywords: hair dye | color | contact dermatitis | patch testing | PPD | lateral spread | prevention | allergen | desensitization | 2-methoxymethyl-p-phenylenediamine

Abstract: This article describes how to identify allergic contact dermatitis resulting from hair dye, and outlines prevention principles for those who wish to continue dyeing their hair despite being allergic—with clear implications for those formulating these products. The main sensitizers in hair dye are discussed, along with techniques to minimize exposure to these allergenic substances.

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N Blickenstaff, G Coman, A Edwards and HI Maibach, A Hair Dyeing Solution for the Dye-allergic Consumer, Cosm & Toil 129(5) 10-13 (Jun 2014)

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Hair color is an important part of one’s identity. However, hair dye allergic contact dermatitis remains a problem for many; its prevalence among patients is reported as 4.3% in Asia, 4% in Europe and 6.2% in North America. P-Phenylenediamine (PPD) is a common ingredient and sensitizer in oxidative hair dye products that can lead to contact allergy dermatitis. While this is thought to be the most common sensitizer, there are more than 100 permitted chemicals in hair dye, and many have been identified as possible sensitizers. As a result, it is difficult prior to patch testing to determine which ingredient is causing the reaction.

Here, the authors describe the typical presentation and symptoms resulting from hair dye allergic contact dermatitis. Common chemical sensitizers in hair dye and the utility of patch testing are detailed, and interventions and prevention principles for those who wish to continue dyeing their hair are outlined—with clear implications for those formulating these product types.

Presentation

The time course for developing dermatitis varies from hours to days following the dye exposure. Dermatitis symptoms commonly include itching, burning and a rash localizing to the face or scalp margins. It is important to note that the exposed scalp often fails to demonstrate visible inflammation. The presentation and dermatitis severity ranges from redness, subtle swelling and irritation of the eyes to intense swelling of the face with exudation of the scalp.

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Table 1. Allergenic Hair Dye Chemicals*

Table 1. Allergenic Hair Dye Chemicals*

Sosted et al. performed a quantitative analysis to predict sensitization potential for hair dye chemicals, and discovered 22 potentially allergenic hair dye chemicals in addition to the five chemicals previously identified by the European hairdressers series.

Table 2. Alternative Hair Dyes Free of PPD*

Table 2. Alternative Hair Dyes Free of PPD*

Herbal products and PPD-free products are shown here. Interestingly, Procter & Gamble recently commercialized the PPD derivative 2-methoxymethyl-p-phenylenediamine; this hair dye molecule is believed to have reduced sensitization properties.

Footnotes [Maibach 129(5)]

a Colourstart, Trichocare Diagnostics Ltd.

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