This patient information on Formaldeyde is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
The results from your patch testing showed a positive reaction (contact allergy) to Formaldehyde. Your immune system reacts with its defense mechanisms with each exposure of Formaldehyde to your skin. It is unknown why certain individuals develop allergic sensitivities. In some it may take repeat exposures over long periods of time before an allergy develops. Once you have become sensitized (allergic) your immune system always "remembers" and you will be Formaldehyde sensitive. If you currently have eczema this chemical may be the cause but other factors may play a role as well. The information below will help you avoid this allergen.
Formaldehyde is found virtually everywhere, inside and outdoors. It is naturally occurring and man-made. It is widely used in building materials. The number of products that contain formaldehyde is impressive. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to avoid small quantities of formaldehyde. Most our exposures to formaldehyde is airborne usually with little effect. The most common skin exposures fabric finishes in clothing and formaldehyde releasing preservatives in skin care products.
Where is chemical found?
Dry cleaning materials
Metal working fluids
Over the counter medications
Plastics and resins
Smoke from wood, charcoal and coal fires.
Hints on avoiding chemical:
Avoid permanent press and wrinkle free clothing.
Avoid clothing needing to be dry-cleaned.
100% cotton, polyester or nylon clothing generally contains less formaldehyde than mixes.
Choose products listed only on your personalized contact allergen database, which has been provided to you. Products listed on your contact allergen resource database will be free of Formaldehyde and safe to use.
Please be aware that if your spouse or significant other uses topical skincare products that contain this chemical skin to skin transfer may occur to you.
It may take 2 to 3 weeks of avoiding exposure before improvement of your eruption begins.
Other names you may see Formaldehyde listed as or may be formaldehyde releasers:
Biocide DS 5249
Germall 115 9 (imidazolidinyl urea)
Germall II (diazolidinyl urea)
Glydant (DMDM dimethylolmethyl hydantoin
Methylene oxide (gas)
Preventol D1, -D2, -D3
Possible Occupational Exposures:
Over million people in the United States has potential occupational exposure to formaldehyde.
Occupations that have higher than normal risk include:
Clothing industry workers
Furniture factory workers