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    I have contact dermatitis, and when I wear makeup I get a rash. Is there anything I can do?

    Contact dermatitis, a common skin condition, is simply swelling, burning, or itching in reaction to something youíve touched, from poison ivy to cosmetics. The most effective solution is to avoid whatever makes you itch.

    If you canít bear to eliminate makeup altogether, look for products made for sensitive skin. Avoid two of the most commonly used preservatives, paraben and formaldehyde. And donít assume that products stamped natural canít irritate: Plant extracts like chamomile can cause rashes, too. Youíll also want to try products that use glycerine to moisturize the skin, rather than propylene glycol.

    Before you buy new cosmetics, make sure you can return them. Patch-test new products on the inside of your arm first, and with patience, youíll find makeup you can tolerate.

    Some chemicals present in cosmetics that you should avoid include:

    -Methyl/propyl parabens
    -imidazolidinyl/diazolidinyl urea,
    -benzyl alcohol,
    -propylene glycol
    -polyethylene glycol

    Also be careful with products containing lactic acid and other alpha or betahydroxy acids, and vitamin A derivatives (tretinoin or retinol)

    Other allergens to steer clear of:

    -Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac
    -Nickel or other metals
    -Antibiotics, especially if applied to surface of skin
    -Rubber and latex
    -Topical anesthetics or other medications that are applied to the surface of the skin
    -Occupational chemicals and substances

    For more information or to find a dermatologist in your area, visit

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