Diary from an anti allergista – chapter 2

If you do not have it yourself or know anyone who has skin allergy, you might think ‘ah, it can’t be that bad – why bother’. I know I did to begin with when I was first introduced to the world of skin, allergy and products. But after I have met enough patients and seen enough horrible pictures of legs, arms and faces that are swollen, red and that just itches constantly, I know that skin allergy is a tiresome and annoying disease. I also know that it is one of the most common diseases. Finally I know that once you get it you will never get rid of it. Why is that? Well, I attended a symposium a few months back where professor Jeanne Duus from the Danish Allergy Center told us about the body’s remembering cells. It is the cells that unfortunately makes sure that your body will never forget methylisothiazolinone (MI) or formaldehyde or untreated oak moss or all the other ingredients you can get allergic to.

To put it short: when your skin gets in contact with for example MI, MI can penetrate your skin. If that happens, MI might activate cells called T-lymphocytes – these are the remembering cells. Once the T-lymphocytes are activated they will always react when your skin is exposed to MI – they remember your body does not like MI and hence react and hence skin allergy is a chronic disease. Even though you wait years and years and years your body will still remember.

Therefore, please, for your own sake and to make your skin life as easy as possible – avoid allergenic ingredients directly on your skin.