The award for 2017 “Allergen of the Year” goes to alkyl glucosides, which are mild surfactants derived from natural sources such as coconut, palm or rapeseed oil, with glucose supplied by corn, wheat starch, or potatoes. Alkyl gluocosides can be found in many skin care products, including shampoos and conditions, shower gels, sunscreen and moisturizers.
In a study of alkyl glucoside allergy, researchers at McGill identified that the average patient with this allergy is a female age 48 years, and the rash occurs commonly on the head and the hands. In an article in Dermatology News magazine (4/2017), Dr. Belsito of Columbia University was quoted as saying, “The allergen of the year is really chosen to educate dermatologists……it doesn’t mean they are these horrible substances that are damaging the world necessarily.”
The only way to diagnose skin allergic rashes (also known as Allergic Contact Dermatitis) is through Patch Testing. Patch Testing is an office procedure where a series of stickers containing various chemicals, are placed on your back for 48 hours straight. After that time, the doctor removes the stickers and looks at the skin for signs of allergy: redness, bumps, swelling.
For more info about Patch Testing, please call the office at (212) 249-8118.