22 Jun 2014

Research highlights: Goat’s milk moisturizer induces goat’s cheese allergic reaction - case study

Image: Jinx!
A woman has experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction after eating goat’s cheese, which Alfred-based researchers say was triggered through repeated use of a moisturiser containing goat's milk. The case study, published this week in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, pinpoints goat’s milk as the offending ingredient, and highlights the argument for skin care preparations to be bland and to avoid "agents capable of sensitisation, especially foods."

Director of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at The Alfred and Monash University, Professor Robyn O'Hehir, said many creams – even for the treatment of dry skin or eczema – are advertised as ‘natural’ products.
“Surprisingly, some of these products contain foods which are known to cause allergy,” Prof O’Hehir said. “Goat’s milk, cow’s milk, nut oils and oats are common ingredients in ‘natural’ cosmetics. “While unlikely to be a problem for most people, repeated application of these to broken or eczematous skin may lead to a severe allergic reaction when the food is next eaten. Our study is the first to demonstrate both clinical and laboratory evidence of a link between topical application of cosmetics and the development of food allergy.”

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