Epoxies and acrylates and formaldehydes, oh my! While the word “glue” is not on published allergen lists, glues and pastes are made up of several substances that are common allergens. We mentioned just a few up front: epoxy resins, acrylates, and formaldehyde (and formaldehyde releasers). These and other allergens are present in multiple types of glues, from school pastes to extreme-hold glues; nail, wig, and lash adhesives; bandages and tapes; glues used in shoes, bags, and jewelry; wood glues; glues used in mobile phone casings; and even glues in inks and paints (the adhesives make the color stick to the application surface)…most substances intended to make something stick to another thing. If you have patch tested positive for substances in glues and adhesives, take care to avoid them, particularly when wet, as reactions can be severe and affect more than skin.
If you have a history of sensitive skin, don’t guess: random trial and error can cause more damage. Ask your dermatologist about a patch test.
On the prevalence of skin allergies, see Skin Allergies Are More Common Than Ever and One In Four Is Allergic to Common Skin Care And Cosmetic Ingredients.
To learn more about the VH-Rating System and hypoallergenicity, click here.
Regularly published reports on the most common allergens by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (based on over 28,000 patch test results, combined), plus other studies. Remember, we are all individuals — just because an ingredient is not on the most common allergen lists does not mean you cannot be sensitive to it, or that it will not become an allergen. These references, being based on so many patch test results, are a good basis but it is always best to get a patch test yourself.
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