Hair dyes damage hairdressers' skin
A hair dye ingredient may cause skin damage or rashes to hairdressers even when they don’t have dermatitis a new experiment shows, Reuters reports.
The chemical, p-phenylenediamine (PPD), is a strong contact allergen used in hair dye, explains Dr. Cezmi Akdis, of the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research in Davos Platz. It is known to cause allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).
Results from the study were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
In the study, PPD exposure resulted in damage to the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, which plays a crucial role in preventing allergens from entering the body and causing damage, the study team notes.
Allergic skin reactions
Both private and occupational exposure to PPD is frequent, but whether it has adverse effects in people with work-related exposure who don’t show allergic symptoms isn’t known, the study team writes.
The objective of the study was to To investigate the effects of PPD exposure on the skin of occupationally exposed individuals with and without clinical symptoms.
For the current study, researchers tested the effect of PPD exposure on the activity of genes known to be involved in dermatitis and active in the skin that has been damaged. They examined gene activity in skin cells after PPD exposure in seven hairdressers without any skin symptoms suggesting an allergic reaction to the chemical, in four people with mild allergic skin reactions to the chemical and in five people with severe allergic skin reactions.
The researchers found that hairdressers without obvious allergic reactions to PPD still had gene activity changes in their skin that suggest the skin can be damaged even when the PPD doesn’t cause allergic symptoms like a rash.
Risks also if you do it at home
Hairdressers who apply hair dye to clients several times a day are particularly at risk for PPD exposure.
The chemical can also cause allergic reactions in people who regularly dye their own hair, particularly if they use darker colors, the researchers claim.
Photographers who develop film and people who get black temporary tattoos and henna tattoos can also be exposed to PPD and have allergic skin reactions as a result, the authors note.
Wearing gloves when dying hair may also reduce the risk of skin damage from PPD.
The semi-permanent dye may cause less of a reaction than permanent color.