Methylisothiazolinone Allergy

Individuals with a Methylisothiazolinone allergy react when they come into contact with the substance. Commonly used in toiletries, cosmetics and household cleaners, a Methylisothiazolinone allergy can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms.

What is a Methylisothiazolinone allergy?

Methylisothiazolinone is a preservative which is often used in personal care items. Many toiletries and cosmetics contain Methylisothiazolinone as it helps to preserve and lengthen the shelf-life of products. Similarly, baby wipes and products aimed at infant care also include Methylisothiazolinone as an ingredient. In addition to this, Methylisothiazolinone is found in numerous household products, such as cleaners and cleaning wipes.

When individuals have a Methylisothiazolinone allergy, they have a noticeable reaction when they come into contact with the preservative. If they use a cosmetic product containing Methylisothiazolinone or use a household cleaner which contains Methylisothiazolinone, for example, they are likely to have a physical reaction.

What are the symptoms of a Methylisothiazolinone allergy?

If an individual with a Methylisothiazolinone allergy is exposed to the substance, they may exhibit allergic contact dermatitis. This involves a number of symptoms, such as:

  • Rash on the skin
  • Skin inflammation
  • Itching of the skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Swelling
  • Skin irritation
  • Hives or blisters
  • Dry, scaly or flaky skin

Generally, the patient’s symptoms will develop on the area of skin which has come into contact with the allergen. If individuals use a make-up product which contains Methylisothiazolinone, for example, they may experience inflammation, redness and irritation on their face.

Often, the symptoms of a Methylisothiazolinone allergy will continue whilst the skin remains in contact with the substance. Whilst individuals may attempt to wash off the offending product, the skin may continue to be sensitive and irritated for some time.

Although the symptoms of a Methylisothiazolinone are generally fairly short-lived, they can become prolonged if people don’t realize that they are allergic to the substance. If people continue to use products containing Methylisothiazolinone and assume something else if causing their reaction, for example, the skin may become dry and flaky. If exposure to Methylisothiazolinone continues, the skin may exhibit dryness for quite some time, even if the use of Methylisothiazolinone is halted.

What causes a Methylisothiazolinone allergy?

When an individual is allergic to a particular substance, that substance causes their body to produce an immune response. This involves the body releasing inflammatory chemicals, which are responsible for the itching and skin irritation individuals experience.

Individuals can be allergic to a vast array of substances and it’s not clear why certain people develop a Methylisothiazolinone allergy. However, people with sensitive skin, existing allergies and/or hay fever may be more prone to these types of allergies.

Whilst someone with a Methylisothiazolinone allergy may not react the first time their skin comes into contact with the substance, this is when the skin first becomes sensitive to the product. When the skin is exposed to Methylisothiazolinone again, it exhibits an immune reaction and the symptoms of the allergy become apparent.

Although the exact cause of a Methylisothiazolinone allergy remains unknown, the nature of the product may highlight why so many people are sensitive to it. Methylisothiazolinone is used to kill the bacteria in products, as this helps to increase their shelf-life. Due to its effects on bacteria, it’s not surprising that Methylisothiazolinone can disrupt the skin and cause an allergic reaction to occur.

The skin can be extremely sensitive and numerous bacteria are present on the skin’s surface. If the Methylisothiazolinone begins to have an affect on the bacteria on the patient’s skin, it’s likely that they will begin to exhibit an allergic reaction to the substance.

Can a Methylisothiazolinone allergy be treated?

Although people may be aware that they are having an allergic reaction, it can be difficult to narrow down exactly what the allergen is. Due to this, a Methylisothiazolinone allergy may be diagnosed following a patch test, usually conducted by a dermatologist or physician.

Once the patient’s Methylisothiazolinone allergy has been confirmed, they will be advised how to manage it. In the vast majority of cases, the only way to treat a Methylisothiazolinone allergy is to avoid the substance altogether.

This involves checking the ingredient labels on products before they are used and confirming whether Methylisothiazolinone is present in specific products. As Methylisothiazolinone is an Isothiazolinone compound, individuals with a Methylisothiazolinone allergy may also want to avoid products containing other Isothaizolinone in case a similar reaction occurs.

Although a Methylisothiazolinone allergy cannot typically be cured, patients may be able to obtain treatment for the symptoms they experience due to the allergy. In most cases, the patient’s symptoms will reduce when the exposure to Methylisothiazolinone is halted.

In severe cases, however, it may be necessary for the individual to seek immediate treatment. If the patient experiences severe facial swelling as a result of a Methylisothiazolinone allergy, for example, they may require urgent treatment to ensure their eyelids, throat, lips and tongue do not swell.

Furthermore, a severe Methylisothiazolinone allergy may cause the skin to become dry and flaky, which could result in broken skin. Similarly, if the skin is itchy or irritated, hives and blisters may develop. If necessary, a topical steroid lotion may be prescribed in order to reduce the patient’s inflammation.

If the patient has broken skin due to allergic contact dermatitis, they will need to take precautions against subsequent infections. When the skin is open, it’s much easier for a bacterial or fungal infection to develop. If this happens, patients may require treatment with topical and/or oral medications.

Can a Methylisothiazolinone allergy be prevented?

Unfortunately, individuals may not realize that they have a Methylisothiazolinone allergy until they have used a product containing the substance. Even then, it can take some time for individuals to determine exactly which ingredient is causing their immune system to react.

Whilst individuals cannot usually prevent an allergy from developing, they can prevent a reaction from occurring. Patients with a Methylisothiazolinone allergy can prevent their symptoms from emerging by avoiding products containing Methylisothiazolinone, for example. Although this can be difficult to do at first, individuals with a Methylisothiazolinone allergy quickly become familiar with which products are safe to use and which are likely to cause the symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis to occur.

Once they have this information, individuals with a Methylisothiazolinone allergy are able to avoid triggering products and successfully prevent the symptoms of the allergy from occurring.