Not An Allergen.
Theobromine (in Chocolate)
Bromine is a halogen, which is a type of chemical that is found in several foods and other substances that can cause skin problems. Despite the similarity in the name, however, theobromine is not a halogen (it has only carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen, no bromine), and is not a common skin allergen. It is a plant molecule found naturally in chocolate (in cacao beans) as well as some other plant foods like tea. The name comes from the Greek “theobroma” — roughly, god food.
Theobromine is a natural alkaloid that dogs find difficult to digest, which is why we shouldn’t let our dogs eat chocolate. For the majority of humans, theobromine makes the heart beat faster, but in the normal doses that we get in chocolate and tea, it is normally not a problem. Everything in moderation, of course. There are health risks associated with too much of anything, and this applies to chocolate and tea as well.
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.
To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com. Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, or for more privacy (such as when asking us to customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results) contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.
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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