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Smelling Good can Kill You:The Health Hazards of Using Perfumes

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 17, 2015
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Perfumes can cause mild allergies.
  • Fragrances can trigger sneezing or watery eyes.
  • Fragrances with chemical content can cause contact dermatitis.
  • One in 10 people suffer from allergies caused by chemicals in perfume.

More

Wearing your favourite fragrance before you step out of the house is sort of a necessity. But your favourite perfume may be contributing to several health problems.

Perfume Allergies

Fragrances and perfumes have been known to contribute to the development of mild allergies, like sneezing or watery eyes. But, the scents which have a chemical content in them can bring bouts of contact dermatitis, a condition which causes the skin to become red, sore or inflamed on coming in direct contact with a substance, and in some cases, they can cause depression.

The Statistics

The estimates say that almost one in 10 people has an ongoing allergic reaction to chemicals found in fragrances. But, due to an increased use of scents, whether in the form of freshners or in the form of scented candles, the allergies are increasing with as many as 55 percent Americans testing positive for at least one allergen.

The Harmful Effects

Besides causing general irritation, your perfume can also be responsible for causing contact dermatitis. In some severe cases, cosmetic contact dermatitis can lead to eczema, which is a chronic skin disorder identified by itchy rashes.

However, the most severe health issue is experienced by the 2 percent people of the population who are chemically intolerant. Their high chemical sensitivity can disable them from stepping out of the boundary of their house because the synthetic molecule in the scents can make them have panic attacks or develop depressive disorders, claimed a recent study conducted at Texas family medicine practices.

Perfume Allergies

Although not many people suffer from such severe side-effects but people who like to wear perfumes must be careful about the chemical content of the perfume.

A 2010 report from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in partnership with Environmental Working Group, found 14 potentially harmful chemicals that were not listed on fragrance product labels.

So, the next time you pick the bottle of your favourite perfume, check the label.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more on Allergy.

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