Symptoms of a Lipstick Allergy

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The symptoms of a lipstick allergy are comparable to those of food allergies, being that the everyday woman ingests up to four pounds of lipstick over her lifetime. Lipsticks contain numerous food-based ingredients such as olive oil, vegetable oil and natural pigments extracted from vegetables and herbs. Familiarise yourself with a lipstick's ingredient label to avoid experiencing unpleasant and, in some cases, severe symptoms.

Skin Problems

An allergic reaction to lipstick will most likely occur directly on the application site. The lips can undergo angioadema, otherwise known as swelling that happens beneath the skin. The lips may also appear red, puffy and hypersensitive. In extreme cases, bumps and blisters can develop. Because lipstick enters the mouth by licking the lips and other similar activities, itching of the mouth, tongue and throat can occur. These skin problems may aggravate existing skin conditions such as eczema.

Carmine, a red pigment derived from crushed beetle shells, can be found in many lipsticks and food products and has been known to cause allergies in some people.

Respiratory Problems

Respiratory issues such as laboured breathing and shortness of breath can be induced by a lipstick allergy. People who have asthma may find their respiratory function more difficult than usual. Nasal congestion, runny nose, lightheadedness and fainting are other signs that a person may exhibit.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Lipstick consumption can produce abdominal pains, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. These symptoms most likely worsen with greater consumption. Since symptoms are more likely to appear at the application site, these gastrointestinal symptoms are more likely to be coupled with the skin problems that flare up because of the allergen. Lipsticks that appear "frosty" may contain an additional compound called bismuth oxychloride. According to Lifescript, bismuth's toxicity levels are low when ingested, but may produce allergic reactions in some people.


In severe cases, anaphylaxis may occur quickly after exposure. The entire body reacts negatively to the allergen, inhibiting primary functions of major systems. Airways may become obstructed, and death can occur. Symptoms can include all the conditions listed above in addition to anxiety, confusion, coughing, difficulty swallowing, hives, palpitations, slurred speech and wheezing. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention. If you think you are experiencing anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately. If your doctor prescribed you an epinephrine pen for severe allergic reactions, inject the epinephrine before you call 911.

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