Acne along the upper forehead, along the temples, across the back of the neck or down the center of the back suggests a skin reaction (allergy or sensitivity) to a hair care product ingredient that is producing an inflammatory reaction and promoting acne. When the offending product (ingredient) is removed, the acne usually begins to clear (no new infections) within three to five days.
If these symptoms match all or part of your acne conditions, it is advisable to begin changing hair care products. Many people begin by switching to a known non-comedogenic hair cleanser such as a better grade baby shampoo or the Skintactix Total Control Body Wash (excellent shampoo qualities) and no other hair care products for about two weeks. When it is observed that no new infections are developing in the hairline areas described above, a hair conditioner, if desired, can be added. If infections develop, remove the conditioner for one to two weeks and then try a different conditioner with noticeably different ingredients and follow the above method of evaluation. Continue this process until none of your routine hair care product selections promote acne.
If your acne isn’t just limited to hairline areas (such as facial and/or body acne) it is advisable to save the discontinued products. At the end of this process, write down all of the ingredients the offending products (including your original hair products) have in common. Eliminate any ingredients that are also contained in your new non-offending products. This shorter list is your “suspect ingredient” list.
One of these ingredients promotes enough inflammation in your body to produce acne. If this ingredient is also in your moisturizer or make-up, for example, or in your laundry detergent, it can have the same affect, such as promoting facial or body acne, promoting eczema or rosacea, causing itchy, rashy skin, etc. Skin care products clearly list their ingredients so you can discontinue any products with a suspect ingredient and observe if there is any change in the condition of facial or body acne. If not, you can resume the use of the product and remove that particular ingredient from your suspect ingredient list.
Laundry detergents are not required to have an ingredient listing on the package. Refer to the brand name web site for an ingredient listing. If a listing isn’t given, find a different brand that does list their ingredients. Trying to find the answers to your allergy/sensitivity questions via laundry detergent is much more difficult. Even though the laundry detergent may be switched from a potentially offending product to a safer one, there are still closets filled with clothing and linens washed with the potentially offending ingredient.
If the list of suspect ingredients can be narrowed to just a few items, it may be possible to have a physician perform a skin allergy test to determine if there is a positive reaction to an ingredient. Heredity seems to be involved with some acne cases yet no one has identified a “gene” for acne. The hereditary linkage of acne may be as simple as an inherited allergy/sensitivity to some item which promotes inflammation that leads to acne. If a physician can identify a positive ingredient reaction or you can successfully determine the offending ingredient, share this information with close relatives who also have chronic inflammatory conditions.