CONTACT DERMATITIS ALTERNATIVES 2019

**Products are included here based on listed ingredients, and inclusion here is not an endorsement. I have no relationships with any listed manufacturers. Always shop with caution.

Skin care products

The products below are examples (there are multiple other options) of products that are free of: Natural and synthetic fragrance additives, formaldehyde, lanolin, and methylchloroisothiazolinone.

 

NOTE: These recommendations only apply for the exact products listed. Products that are the same brand and have a similar name may not be a safe choice. While we make every effort to provide up-to-date information, product formulations frequently change, so read labels and use caution.

 

NOTE: All products contain some potential allergens.  Patch testing may be required.

NOTE: While these products have worked well for many of my patients, they are not appropriate for everyone. I have found that individuals may react very differently to the same exact product, so always use caution when using a new product. For those with sensitive skin, I recommend testing on the forearm twice daily for one week before using elsewhere.

 

The products below contain ingredients that are less common causes of allergy.

  • BCL = benzalkonium chloride

  • CPB = cocamidopropyl betaine

  • IPBC = iodopropinyl butylcarbamate

  • P = parabens

  • PG = propylene glycol

  • TR = trolamine

  • V = Vitamin E

Facial and Body Cleansers

Eyelid cleansers: 

  • Albolene gentle cleanser

 

Liquid cleansers: 

  • Aveeno baby cleansing therapy wash fragrance-free

  • Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser (liquid only) [P,PG]

  • Cerave hydrating cleanser [P]

  • Cerave foaming cleanser [P,PG]

  • Free and Clear liquid cleanser

  • Neutrogena ultra gentle hydrating cleanser (creamy formula only)

  • Vanicream gentle facial cleanser

 

Bar soaps: 

  • Aveeno fragrance-free bar soap

  • Cerave hydrating cleanser bar

  • Neutrogena fragrance-free bar soap [TR]

  • Vanicream bar soap [PG]

Moisturizers (from less to more greasy)

  • Cerave moisturizing cream [P]

  • Aveeno Eczema Therapy cream [BCL]

  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream

  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream for Extra Dry Skin

  • Theraplex eczema therapy with oatmeal (www.theraplex.com)

  • Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream fragrance-free [P]

  • Vanicream cream [PG]

  • Cerave healing ointment [V]

  • Theraplex emollient for severely dry skin

  • Vaniply ointment

  • Pure Vaseline petroleum jelly (no added fragrance or flavoring)

Hair Care

  • DHS Sal with 3% salicylic acid for dandruff [CPB], DHS conditioner

  • Free and Clear shampoo, Free and Clear conditioner [PG],  Free and Clear styling gel, Free and Clear hairspray soft or firm hold (Free and Clear products available at some drugstores or 1-800-325-8232 or www.vanicream.com)

  • Neutrogena T-sal shampoo for dandruff [CPB]

  • Available online: see below for Cleure, Vanicream, and VMV Hypoallergenics options

 

Product Lines Available Online

  • Avene Hypersensitive Skin Care: Tolerance Extreme Cleansing Lotion, Tolerance Extreme Cream

  • Cleure Sensitive Skin: Glycerin face/body bar soap, face/body wash, face wash, shampoo hypoallergenic, conditioner for sensitive skin, styling gel, crystal stone deodorant

  • VMV Hypoallergenics (212-217-2762): Essence skin-saving superwash hair and body shampoo, Essence skin-saving clark wash hair and body shampoo (can customize products based on allergen results, or choose from post-patch testing product line free of top 109 allergens)

  • Vanicream (1-800-325-8232,  www.vanicream.com)

 

Sun Protection and Sunscreens
A sun protection plan may include sunblock, but always includes caution with sun exposure, along with sunglasses, hats, and clothing. The sunblocks listed below contain ONLY physical sunblock ingredients [zinc oxide and titanium dioxide].

  • Cerave Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45 [PG]

  • EltaMD UV Physical broad-spectrum SPF 41 [IPBC]

  • EltaMD UV Pure broad-spectrum SPF 47

  • Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen PureScreen Sensitive Skin SPF 50 [BHT]

  • Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunblock Stick SPF 60 (stick only!)

  • TIZO Ultra Zinc Body & Face Sunscreen Non-Tinted SPF 40 Broad Spectrum [TR]

  • Vanicream Sunblock SPF 50+ (www.Vanicream.com or 1-800-325-8232)

 

Laundry detergent

  • All Free and Clear

  • Branch Basics

  • Tide Free

Lip products

  • Stop chapsticks (Burt’s Bees, Blistex, Carmex, EOS, and all other lip balms)

  • Stop chewing gum, mints, mouthwash

  • Use only pure Vaseline petroleum jelly for lips (no fragrance or flavoring) or Vaniply Ointment

  • For toothpaste, may use

    • Cleure Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

    • Pepsodent

    • VMV Hypoallergenics Essence Simple-Gentle Skin-Saving Toothpaste 

    • Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry Children’s Fluoride-Free Toothpaste (this flavor only!)

  • Lip balm with sun protection: Vanicream Lip Protectant/Sunscreen

 

Deodorant/Anti-Perspirant

  • Almay roll-on deodorant (roll-on only)

  • Crystal Body Deodorant Stick

  • Crystal Roll-On Body Deodorant

  • Vanicream Deodorant for Sensitive Skin (Aluminum Free)

  • Vanicream Antiperspirant/Deodorant

  • For stronger protection: CertainDri Clinical Strength Roll-On (may be irritating)

 

Hand Sanitizer

  • Avagard fragrance-free by 3M

 

Shaving

  • Vanicream shave gel

  • May shave with Free and Clear shampoo

 

Wipes

  • Sani-Hands Instant Hand Sanitizing Wipes [PG, Vitamin E]

  • Seventh Generation chlorine-free baby wipes [benzoic acid]

  • CVS Health Instant Hand Sanitizing Wipes [PG, Vitamin E]

 

Other

  • Cerave Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion with 1% Pramoxine [isopropyl myristate, Vit E]

Cleaning Supplies

  • Branch Basics (www.branchbasics.com)

 

Nickel

  • Nickel test kit to detect the presence of nickel (does not harm objects):  nickelsolution.com or allerderm.com

  • Use a clear nail lacquer (from nickelsolution.com) to protect against leaching of nickel 

  • Ask jeweler to apply a coating (thicker than plating) of rhodium or platinum to protect against nickel in jewelry

 

Nickel allergy and jewelry

  • Sterling silver and 18K yellow gold are usually OK

  • Avoid most white gold (white color achieved by combining gold with either nickel or palladium)

  • Always check with jeweler on alloys (even expensive titanium and platinum jewelry may be alloyed with nickel)

 

Formaldehyde-Free Clothing

  • 100% polyester, 100% silk, or most 100% denim or cotton clothing

 

Detailed Handouts (see KattaMD.com)

  • Hair Dye Alternatives

  • Nickel in Jewelry

  • Shoe Allergy

  • Elimination Diets

  • Other

For More on

Preventive Dermatology 

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© 2019 by Rajani Katta MD