Gluten Free Skin Care


Many of our patients claim that they have had reactions to products containing gluten. Whether that is due to Celiac Disease or a separate skin allergy is yet to be determined in most cases. There are certainly enough reports of topical reactions to warrant further research on the subject. Gluten is not absorbed through the skin. Or is it? Generally it is thought not to be. The reason there is some doubt in my mind about its absorption is, the many newly developed liposomal and nano technologically engineered molecules used in making cosmetics more absorbent.

I have recently noticed when visiting our favorite neighborhood frozen yogurt store how many “GLUTEN FREE” choices there are. The skin reaction associated with Celiac Disease, (dermatitis herpetiformis or DH) is also caused by internal sources and can be corrected by diet. When recommending skin care products to our patients in our clinic we take a very holistic approach. It is important to analyze the patient’s allergies, diet, lifestyle, vitamin and medication intake as well as skin color, tone and condition. Just slathering on an expensive skin care regimen without evaluating all of the aforementioned factors is unfortunately the practice of a great many looking to improve their appearance. Just like “medically supervised” weight loss, “medically supervised” skin care can be overseen on many different levels. Dermatologists may be focusing too much on pathology or treatment protocols for chronic conditions needing pharmacological intervention. Aestheticians may be overzealously promoting a product whose ingredients are getting noticed on Oprah’s latest TV show and not necessarily personalized for a particular patient.

“Gluten Free” and “Nut Free” preparations may only a part of the problem for patients encountering frequent skin reactions. A great majority of their outbreaks could be attributable to contacting others. Kissing, shaking hands, sharing cell phones and all kind of day to day casual encounters with contamination are probably more to blame than anything else. Always perform a “patch test” with new products. A patch test is done by taking a small amount of the substance and applying it to the top of your hand, instead of your face, and waiting a few minutes to see if there is any redness, hives, itching, stinging or burning.

Before you go out of your way to find “Gluten Free” skin care products, be mindful that the medical community is skeptical about their real benefit. No matter what it says on the labels of whatever your about to use on your face, always employ the “patch test” technique to avert having an allergic reaction. Even if you have used the product before, always be aware of the possibility of some contaminating agent infiltrating your supply. Just because you have taken the time to find a “gluten free” or “hypo-allergenic” product, doesn’t mean it’s free from contamination or spoilage.

Copyright © 2009 Dr. Roy Shapiro *Gluten Free Skin Care* If you are a physician or a skin care expert, call 480.710.2229 to find out more about ARRESTAGE Laboratories Corp. programs.