Need a Skin Specialist for Skin Allergies?
It?s been almost exactly a year since the British Association of Dermatologists discussed it at their annual conference and issued a press release regarding it, but it took an item on the BBC Watchdog programme in May this year to really bring it to the attention of the mainstream media. What is it?
Methylisothiazolinone (MI), a common preservative found in dozens and dozens of household products which kills bacteria, mould and viruses in water-based liquids or creams and extends their shelf life. MI and another preservative, methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI), have been apparently successfully used in combination for many years. But the European Commission approved MI as a single-use agent in 2005 (one of the reasons for this, ironically, was that it was thought less likely to trigger allergic reactions) and many manufacturers then started using MI in higher concentrations.
Since then, dermatology clinics in London and around the country and have reported an explosion in cases of allergic reactions to the chemical. Dermatologists suggest that the expected rate of allergic reaction from any cosmetic product is 1-2%, but data from leading UK dermatology clinics report that the rate of reaction to MI is over 10%. That is more than twice the level of another ingredient called methydibromo glutaronitrile, which was banned by the EU in 2008. A Harley Street dermatologist was quoted as saying that the frequency of reactions to MI was ?unprecedented? and that it was now reaching ?epidemic proportions?.
Unsurprisingly, manufacturers have been slow to react and reluctant to act on the recommendations of the experts, citing a lack of evidence, claiming that the reported number of cases was small, and stating that their products contain only permitted ingredients at levels well within EU standards set by regulators. The usual obfuscation that you might expect and an unwillingness to change any of their formulae unless required to do so.
Many people allergic to MI and MCI/MI suffer symptoms such as itchy eyes, rashes, blisters, swelling, burning sensations and sore or reddened skin. Any part of the body coming into contact with MI can be affected, but it is usually the face or hands. Moisturisers or wipes seem to be the worst culprits. If you believe your cosmetics have triggered a skin allergy or if you are suffering from sudden unexplained eczema, one option is to make an appointment at the Claudia Louch Natural Skin Clinic in London?s Harley Street. The experts there take a completely natural and comprehensive inside-out approach when tackling skin conditions. In partnership with our pathology laboratory, a blood allergy profile can determine the exact cause of any allergy, followed by a customised therapy plan. This plan may include bespoke medicinal plant-based remedies and nutritional supplements as well as your own bespoke customised medicinal plant based skin care range, made for you by our own Phyto Pharmacy. There are also Claudia?s own skincare and cosmetic products to choose from, a range that is natural, plant and/or mineral based, hypoallergenic, allergy-tested, non-comedogenic and is free from harsh chemicals such as MI and parabens on our website.