Why Salicylates May Be the Cause of Your Allergies and Skin Problems
The active ingredient in aspirin is salicylates, but this natural substance is also found in many foods, skin products and cosmetics. In today’s world, we are exposed to much higher levels of salicylates than ever before.
Though it is a natural anti-inflammatory chemical which has helped many people, it is also possible to develop an allergic reaction to salicylates which you may not even know you have. This can lead to skin irritation and allergy symptoms if you use any products with it as an ingredient.
You’ll find salicylates in many foods and herbs since it is a naturally-occurring compound. It works to reduce inflammation and pain, and is frequently used in skin care products, medicines, cosmetics and even toothpastes. Some preservatives, fragrances and colorings also have salicylates.
Why Salicylates are Difficult to Avoid
One of the most common places to find salicylates is aspirin, as they are the main ingredient. Most people who are allergic to aspirin are actually allergic to the salicylates that are in the aspirin. If you are doing research into products that are safe for your sensitive skin, you should know that these salicylates are just about everywhere, and that it is rather difficult to avoid them. We are exposed to these natural compounds on a daily basis, in amounts much higher than in previous generations.
Before the days of modern farming practices, our food contained lower amounts of salicylates. Nowadays crops are bred with higher levels in order to reduce their vulnerability to insects and other diseases. In previous generations, people made their own personal care products, and did not use the large number of cosmetics that have become the norm today.
For those with sensitive skin, even small amounts of any irritant can cause rashes or other allergic reactions. And with salicylates being found in so many places, this can compound any problems you might have. You may be fine with a little bit, but after all-day exposure, you might start to have a reaction.
Salicylate Allergy Symptoms
An allergic reaction to salicylates can come in many forms, which can further confuse anyone trying to figure out the problem. Here are a few examples of the possible symptoms:
– Sinus inflammation
– Irritated skin
– Swollen hands
– Memory loss
As you can see, it would be very easy to dismiss any of these symptoms as being unrelated to a substance allergy. Only a doctor can help you to determine whether you have a salicylate allergy, however even this can be a challenge because it is a relatively new ailment that not all doctors are aware of.
How to Reduce Your Exposure
It can be difficult to reduce your salicylate exposure since it is present is so many products. But if you do determine that you have an allergy or sensitivity to it, you should try your best to do so.
Needless to say, you won’t want to drop all the natural food products that contain it from your diet, so you’ll have to work harder to make sure your skin care products and cosmetics don’t have it.
Stay away from any shampoos, cosmetics, soaps or other skin care products with artificial color, dyes, or fragrances.
Avoid any products with herbs or botanical ingredients, as they usually have high salicylate content.
Obviously, stay away from aspirin for pain relief. Products like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are fine.
Look for salicylate-free toothpaste. Mint is naturally high in salicylates, which can make toothpaste a problem. Actually, stay away from mint altogether.
When it comes to actual food products, try to limit your intake of coffee, tea, alcohol, vinegar and ketchup. They are all high in salicylate but aren’t particularly healthy anyway.
There are a few brands of salicylate free personal care products, but most of them contain chemical ingredients and preservatives which can cause skin irritation. There is only brand of salicylate free products that is free of chemical irritants.