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Allergies

Glycerin allergy

03/11/2008

Question:

I too have a severe allergy to glycerin, which is a nightmare because it is used in almost every common product, including invasive products in the workplace and public such as perfumes, hand lotions, sanitizers, etc. plus in many medicines. (I`ve been tested, including with placebos, by doctors who doubted the allergy.) My father, who gave me horse-sized dozes of glycerin when I was a child with asthma and thinks that is why I developed the allergy, told me that the human body "produces" glycerin, particularly during exercise and dieting, which could explain why I break out in hives and my sensitivity goes thru the roof when I exercise or diet. Is there any truth to this and how can I lesson the effects, because I really love exercising and need to also diet. Most importantly, my allergy is so severe that my job is at risk (my employers don`t want to address the overuse of perfumed products in the workplace) so any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Answer:

Allergy to glycerin is extremely rare. It might cause contact dermatitis of the skin but I am unaware of its role in causing systemic symptoms such as hives or interacting with dieting. An allergist could determine this by controlled challenge testing.

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Response by:

I Leonard Bernstein, MD I Leonard Bernstein, MD
Clinical Professor Emeritus
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati