Could you be allergic to modern life? An increasing number of women suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Could you be allergic to modern life? An increasing number of women suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Could you be allergic to modern life? An increasing number of women suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is the increasingly common condition that is leaving women, in particular, suffering from allergic reactions caused by everything from cosmetics to wine and new carpets.

The condition can lead to wheezing, hives, itchy skin and swelling – in extreme cases patients have even been hospitalised.

In modern life we are exposed to an increasing number of chemicals, but our tolerance to these chemicals varies from person to person and so it can be difficult to predict what may spark an allergic reaction.

Andrew Wright, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Bradford comments, “We are seeing an increased number of people, especially women, developing reactions to everyday products. We are now exposed to so many chemicals on a daily basis, and since people have different thresholds of sensitivity, it can be difficult to predict a person’s level of tolerance.”

Antonia Brindle, who suffers from MCS, finds her condition is often triggered by the chemicals in men’s aftershave, which was particularly embarrassing at an important business lunch which she was forced to leave as she had a severe allergic reaction to a colleague’s aftershave!

According to doctors, one of the main culprits in an ingredient called Methylisothiazolinone (MI). The ingredient was commonly added to cosmetics like moisturisers, sun creams and shampoos in 2013.

MI has since been banned from cosmetics which are left on the skin, but it is still worth looking out for in products like shampoo and conditioner which are rinsed out. Professor Wright continues, “MI is everywhere. Tough it is not toxic, it can cause significant reaction; something I see a great deal of.”

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