At the most recent annual meeting of The American Contact Dermatitis Society, Acrylates were crowned the Contact Allergen of the Year for 2012. Acrylates are plastic materials found in paints, adhesives, inks, resins and artificial fingernails. Acrylates are also used in a number of medical devisesincluding contact lenses, hearing aids and bone cements for orthopedic endoprostheses. Acrylates were bestowed this this year’s honor because they are “everywhere in the environment” said Dr. Donald V. Belisto, who announced the winner at the meeting.
We commonly see patients with allergic reactions on their skin, however it is very difficult to pinpoint what caused the allergy. Think about it… you come in contact with hundreds of items every day and any of those products could potentially cause an allergy. A common area we see allergic reactions are on the face. Many people start thinking about their make-up, face lotion, face wash, ect…as to what could have caused the allergic reaction. When you have a reaction on your face it is more commonly something you transfer from your hand to your face (i.e acrylic nails or nail polish).
Treatment for contact allergens commonly include topical cortisone treatment or oral prednisone. Most importantly is avoidance of the allergen, however this can be difficult if you don’t know what it is. Patch Testing can be done to attempt to establish the allergen. Patch Testing is an in-office procedure where large adhesive patches impregnated with various allergens are placed on the skin, typically the back. The adhesive patches are left on the skin for a few days and when removed the skin is examined for any reaction to the test. If a positive reaction is found we try to determine where the patient is coming in contact with the allergen.
If your face is burning and itching let your nails go au natural, you could get some relief.