Many are not aware of the ways their skin care and beauty products can be causing them harm. There are so many over-the-counter products that include a laundry list of ingredients that you should never put on your face or anywhere near your body. Unfortunately, many of us are unaware that some of the products we use to improve our skin can actually do the opposite or potentially have harmful, disastrous effects in the long run. A popular ingredient often found in skin products that treat dryness or itching is something called coal tar, alternatively it's called allantoin.
While it has been shown to positively impact the skin of those who suffer from psoriasis, seborrhea, dandruff and eczema, its long-term effects are much more serious than we may realize. Coal tar is effective for these specific skin ailments because it is a keratoplastic. This means that it allows the skin to get rid of dead skin cells. The skin cells are shed from the outer most layer of skin, usually the part that's most affected by the ailment. This process is so effective because it slows down the rate at which the affected skin cells grow. There are also elements in coal tar that alleviate the itching that often accompanies these skin conditions.
Although this may sound like a sure-fire bet for those who struggle with these skin conditions to get relief, it could come at a pretty big cost. Even though coal tar works to soften affected skin and slow the bacterial growth of the condition, it's also potentially harming your skin. Those who have a compromised immune system or are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant or breast feeding are warned to not use coal tar. Other very similar warnings are usually found on labels of products that have this type of additive in it as well. Those who suffer from allergies are on specific medication, whether prescription or nonprescription, or taking part in any type of alternative treatment that includes ultraviolet radiation are warned against it.
One of the first studies that found there were problems with coal tar, and its possible side effects, was done on animals. It was found that increased exposure to coal tar heightened the likelihood of skin cancer occurrences. There is something within coal tar that affects the skin negatively as well. Most people would not trade a mild case of eczema for skin cancer; one should not give cause to the other. Other side effects of this substance have been noted as well. Those with sensitive, and even regular skin, found that they experienced skin irritation after using products with coal tar. There have also been reports of stinging and discomfort depending on initial dosages.
There is no reason that something that is being used as a topical treatment for a skin condition should potentially cause even more serious conditions down the road. Cancer is not a small matter and should never be risked.
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