Customer Asking for Info about Allergic Reaction

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hmlove1218

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Not sure if this belongs in the business forum or not.. If so, mods, feel free to move it to the proper section.

I had a woman who had received a sample soap email me stating that her 5 month old had an allergic reaction to my soap after her 5 year old touched the baby's face with soapy hands. She stated that there was no apparent itching, just red welts.

She's not upset at all (luckily), but she's asking me which ingredient I think might be causing the reaction so she can avoid it in future products for the baby. Anyone have a clue what the culprit most likely is? I was thinking of recommending a patch test of the individual ingredients, but I'm not sure if that is wise since it's a 5 month old :/

Ingredients: Olive Oil, Water, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Mango Butter, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides, Vitamin E

Thanks everyone!

(Moral of the story, always include contact info and ingredients on everything!)
 
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Dorymae

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I would send her the complete list of ingredients and recommend she take the baby to an allergy specialist immediately. Don't try to make any speculation as to the cause, you are not a doctor and you don't want her to perceive your advice as that of an expert. With the list of ingredients an allergy specialist should be able to find the cause and let her know the products that should be avoided.

Edited to say include the ingredients in the mica, the colors we use are not just mica, also if you have an MSDS sheet on the fragrance I would include that as well. Ah I see you also said iron oxide and titanium dioxide.
 
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Obsidian

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I have to agree. If he developed welts just from a touch of soapy hands, its liable to be a very bad allergy and he needs to see a specialist. Hopeful the mother will take the advice.
 

MrsSpaceship

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More a question than a comment, but doesn't the saponification alter the base oils so it's not as simple as saying your allergic to x oil and z butter?
I'm just curious because on me personally pure cocoa butter makes me itch like a mad woman but I seem to be fine with soap with cocoa butter it in. I've never had any testing done, it's purely anecdotal, and I just avoid products with 'raw' cocoa butter in them.
 

Jstar

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I agree with Dory, dont offer medical advice..just give her the ingredients in everything that went into the soap and direct her to her doctor.

The thing with allergies, is that you can develop one overnight, even with things you have used all your life...and just as suddenly become 'not' allergic to it.

Its 'always' a good idea to list all your ingredients even tho its not the law..that way you remove yourself from liability..its up to the customer then to decide if they feel safe using the product.
 
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Susie

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More a question than a comment, but doesn't the saponification alter the base oils so it's not as simple as saying your allergic to x oil and z butter?
I'm just curious because on me personally pure cocoa butter makes me itch like a mad woman but I seem to be fine with soap with cocoa butter it in. I've never had any testing done, it's purely anecdotal, and I just avoid products with 'raw' cocoa butter in them.
There is the superfat issue. When soap is made, lye "eats" what it wants, then leaves "X" amount of superfat. No telling what oils that consists of.
 

hmlove1218

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Thanks for the replies everyone! Sorry I'm responding so late. Power went out last night.

She already had a full list of ingredients because I label absolutely everything I give to people just for this reason.

I'll recommend for her to see a specialist.

Thanks everyone!
 

Aline

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I would think the most likely culprit would be the fragrance. But really, you don't know for sure that it was the soap. I could have been something he ate....
 

hmlove1218

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Unfortunately, I seriously doubt it's something the baby ate. She told me that the redness appeared within minutes, and, in the picture she sent me of the reaction, I swear I can see something resembling a small handprint on the side of the poor baby's face :(
 

Susie

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There are also several children's diseases that include rashes that can easily be mistaken for allergic reactions. (The hand print on the face is a BIG hint towards one in particular!) That child needs to go to the pediatrician, pronto!
 

navigator9

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Anyone can be allergic to anything. Fragrance is very often the culprit, but that doesn't mean that it can't be any of the other ingredients, either.
 

Dorymae

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When my daughter was 6months old I ate some imitation crab (fish) with my hands then picked her up. She had my thumb print welts on her front and 4 finger welts on each side of her back. Brought her to an allergy specialist and they told me she was highly allergic to all fish but not shellfish. They said it was a blessing I found out before she ever tried eating it as her throat would have most likely closed up.

She did eventually outgrow the allergy, we had her retested at 10 years old and she was fine.

The point is, it may be a blessing she found out about the allergy this way.
 

Susie

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Anyone can be allergic to anything. At ANY time. Fragrance is very often the culprit, but that doesn't mean that it can't be any of the other ingredients, either.
Fixed that for you. You can use a product for 30 years and then have a reaction out of the blue. Makes figuring out what you react to a nightmare sometimes.
 

Jstar

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There are also several children's diseases that include rashes that can easily be mistaken for allergic reactions. (The hand print on the face is a BIG hint towards one in particular!) That child needs to go to the pediatrician, pronto!
Something like Phytophotodermatitis? I looked it up and it has the 'handprint' shape rash..usually caused by enzymes in citrus and veggies....could be the mango butter or the FO if it was a citrus type yes?..

How odd tho, because there wasn't sun involved, and I think the article said something about the sun and enzyme combo? {just thinking aloud here..pay me no never mind..its my inner PI coming out :lol:}
 

navigator9

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Fixed that for you. You can use a product for 30 years and then have a reaction out of the blue. Makes figuring out what you react to a nightmare sometimes.
Thanks Susie, that's absolutely true. One of the few things you can do is to look for a common denominator in products you are allergic to, but in products with a list of ingredients as long as your arm, it's tough.

I had seasonal allergies to the extreme as a child. Back then, they called it "hay fever." In my thirties, the allergies disappeared, only to resurface briefly in my forties. And this year.....they're back! Why? Who knows. Allergies of all kinds are fickle.
 

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