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Herbal hair dyes, cosmetic products harmful to skin: AIIMS Delhi

By Priyanka Sharma, New Delhi, Aug 31: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi has found that herbal hair dyes and fairness creams are harmful to the skin as they contain "allergy-causing agents".

As per the latest study conducted by the AIIMS, herbal hair dyes and fairness creams contain allergy-causing agents, which are harmful to the skin. The study revealed the presence of harmful preservatives and antioxidants in skin lightening creams, whereas hair dyes are positive with allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).

The major concern for the researchers is that the cosmetic industry does not reveal what 'kind of ingredients' are being used in their products.

The researchers examined as many as 106 patients who complained of skin diseases.

"We did a patch test on all patients, who had classical cosmetic dermatitis and those with induced skin darkening (pigmented cosmetic dermatitis)", said Riti Bhatia, Dermatologist, AIIMS, Rishikesh.

Most common symptoms are redness, itching, making face skin and neck becomes brown and later slate grey, she added.

"About 77 patients were positive with allergy-causing agents like cetrimonium, gallate mix and thiomerosal ((a preservative that contains mercury) which is mostly found in skin fairness creams and PPD (p-phenylenediamine) allergic element present in herbal hair dyes," Dr VK Sharma, Professor and head of Dermatology department at AIIMS told ANI.

Patients were tested with the Indian standard series, Indian cosmetic and fragrance series, and personal cosmetics and, in relevant cases, hairdresser series," the doctor said.

According to physicians, the worrying aspect is that most of the herbal hair dyes have PPD to improve its effect without mentioning it on the label.

"We are now planning to write to the government for more regulation in the cosmetic products so that companies should declare all ingredients they are using in cosmetic products," said Prof Dr Sharma.

AIIMS experts said that cosmetics are one of the very common causes of dermatitis. It is more common in women than men and around 13-18 per cent women get affected after using it.

The major cause of dermatitis is external factors like cosmetics, topical medicaments and parthenium. Eczema mostly affects 7-8 per cent of the adult population and its prevalence keeps increasing with age, the doctors said.

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Herbal hair dyes, cosmetic products harmful to skin: AIIMS Delhi


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