Peter A. Young, MPAS: Feedback on Research Into Skincare Product Allergens

An interview segment with Peter Young featuring a description of the response to the research into personal care product allergens.

Peter A. Young, MPAS, a Stanford University School of Medicine visiting scholar and physician assistant at Kaiser Permanente, discussed the public’s response to his team’s research into allergic contact dermatitis and allergens in personal care products (PCPs).

During the interview segment with HCPLive, Young first described some of the reasons for he and his colleagues, Haiwen Gui, BS, and Gordon Bae, MD, chose to explore allergens in products labeled as ‘natural’ in stores such as Whole Foods and Target.

“So the last I read on this subject, contact dermatitis, which includes both irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, was the fifth most prevalent skin disease in the US,” he explained. “So in the past 25-ish years, the prevalence of contact dermatitis, specifically from personal care products, has increased by 2.7 fold… So it's definitely increasing. This has also coincided with a huge increase in the revenue from personal care products, the personal care product industry, including ‘natural’ skincare products.”

Their study had involved examining products with ingredients labeled as ‘natural’ and examining the prevalence of contact allergens.

Following the publication of their research in which 1555 of 1651 studied PCPs with this label were found to contain ≥1 contact allergen, Young and colleagues received feedback on the research.

“So it's exciting that my patients have interest in it,” he said. “You know, I can see them changing their mind about using ‘natural’ skincare products, if they have a history of contact dermatitis. And the response from the media and the research community… the article has been viewed maybe a little more than 1300 times and it's been covered on, I want to say, 9 different news platforms and a couple of social media sites. So it seems like the word is getting out there. And that's my hope is just to sort of spread the word so that the public becomes aware of this.”

Young also described what he hopes the response will be on his team’s research further down the road, as more and more people learn about the potential concerns of many commonly-used PCPs.

“I hope the skincare product industry would take this information as a learning point, and work to sort of avoid ingredients that are known to be allergens, or at least known to be common allergens,” Young said. “Or if they're sort of unable to avoid use of certain ingredients that are known to be allergens, perhaps take responsibility and label their products for people that, you know, may otherwise be unwilling.”

To learn more about the information on Young’s research, view the full interview segment.

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