Anecdotal reports involving tiny fissures and cuts on thumbs and fingertips have led to the discovery of a commonly used preservative as being the root cause. Methyliso-thiazolinone is an ingredient that is routinely used in products ranging from liquid soaps and shower gels to washing-up liquids, skin moisturizers, and even baby wipes. Manufac-turers of these products use methylisothiazolinone to prevent the growth of bacteria and yeasts; however, it has been found to cause allergic reactions in increasing numbers of individuals. The incidence of contact dermatitis (inflammation of the skin caused by contact with an irritating substance) due to methylisothiazolinone is so wide- ranging that the American Contact Dermatitis Society named it Contact Allergen of the Year in 2013.

If you suffer from contact dermatitis, the most important thing is to stop using whatever’s causing the reaction right away. This may be enough to fix the problem. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can also help ease inflammation. If you notice a change in your skin, please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Listening carefully to patients, explaining diagnoses and treatment options, and developing treatment plans in close consultation with patients is how we provide excellent dermatologic care. Our clinic is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Discontinuing the use of products containing methylisothiazolinone will eventually lead to healing of skin showing symptoms of allergic reaction to the preservative.