The waxy or oily substance that is got from the sheep or other similar furry animals (it keeps the wool waterproof) is lanolin and when people having lanolin allergy comes in contact with wool or other products with lanolin they develop symptoms in the form of itchy skin rash. Lanolin is also found in lotions, ointments, make-up, furniture polish, ink, leather and cosmetic products.
The predominant symptoms of lanolin allergy are painful skin rash, redness, swelling, and irritable nasal congestion. You may also face respiratory symptoms as well, especially if you have asthma. The severity of lanolin allergy symptoms vary with individuals, sometimes it’s only concentrated to the area that comes in contact with lanolin while the others get it widespread over a large area of the skin.
There is possibly no way to learn that you have lanolin allergy apart from experimentation. Therefore, it is very important to check the ingredients of cosmetics once you know that you are likely to have this allergy. Face, lips, feet and hands are the most lanolin allergy prone areas and small blisters that are fluid-filled start appearing at the site of contact. It might take few hours after contact to show up the symptoms.
How to Treat it?
The preliminary step in which you can treat lanolin allergy is by stop using such products completely. Stay away from anything that has a possibility to contain lanolin – wool or any derivative, like aloholes lanae, adeps lanae anhydrous, and amerchol. Visit a dermatologist and he will prescribe a topical steroid cream, like hydrocortisone to soothe the symptoms. If the symptoms are severe, he may also recommend oral antihistamine, commonly known as Benadryl to subside the allergic reaction.
How to Diagnose it?
Once you develop the symptoms, you should immediately seek a doctor’s advice to know correctly if its lanolin allergy. Often a patch test is done with 30 percent wool alcohol on the skin to check the patient’s level of sensitivity. If you are prone to allergies, make sure you do self-testing by taking a small amount of lanolin product on your skin and check the reaction after five to seven days.
Warning List of Lanolin Products
In the market, there are varieties of products that can have lanolin. The cosmetics with lanolin are easier to detect but in other cases, you might be misguided. Check this list to be aware of lanolin containing products –
- Shaving cream
- Dog Shampoo
- Hemorrhoid cream
- Printer ink
- Shoe polish
- Leather items