There seems to be a bit of controversy over celiac disease and the use of skin care products/cosmetics that contain gluten. It makes sense that if you have celiac disease, the use of these products should be avoided. However, as long as these products are used topically and not ingested, they are safe in most circumstances.  According to Dr. Michael Picco MD,  a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, gluten-containing skin care products and cosmetics aren’t a problem unless you accidentally swallow them. For this reason, avoid using such products on your lips or around your mouth. For those of my readers with Dermatitis Herpetiformis, this is the cutaneous manifestation of celiac disease and is not actually a disease of the skin. Once again, according to Dr. Picco, although it involves the skin, DH is caused by ingesting gluten, not by skin contact with gluten. For more from Dr. Picco, follow this link, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/celiac-disease/an01623

 If a rash does develop after using a gluten-containing topical product, medical care should be sought. Much of the time, this is more a sign of a wheat/gluten allergy. In this case, care should be taken to avoid all products containing the allergen, both food and otherwise.

 I hope this goes a little way toward clearing up the confusion. I, personally, use a shampoo product that contains gluten. My tissue transglutaminase is perfect, as is the remainder of my celiac panel. I do, however, pay particular attention to my toothpaste, mouthwash and lipsticks. These are definite areas of contamination. Any questions regarding these types of products (ie. toothpaste, lipstick) should be directed to the manufacturing company to be perfectly sure of the ingredient list.

 Here’s to your health, and beauty!

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