Celiac Disease

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November 30th, 2015

Gluten in Makeup: Does it Matter?

By Kanaaz Pereira

Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. People living gluten-free must avoid foods with wheat, rye and barley. But many patients are questioning if there may be more to a gluten-free lifestyle than just making dietary changes. Gluten is sneaky; it may also be lurking in makeup and toiletries where it's used as a binder to help ingredients stick together, and to add moisture to products through gluten-derived oils. Tara M. Myles, registered  clinical dietitian at Mayo Clinic assures patients that there is no definite link between any gluten in beauty products and harmful effects for those who have celiac disease.

Typically, gluten must be ingested for it to cause a reaction. Unless you accidentally swallow them, gluten-containing skin care products and cosmetics aren't a problem. For this reason, avoid using such products on your lips or around your mouth, and also avoid gluten-containing dental products.

If you use a cosmetic or skin care product that contains gluten, and you develop a skin reaction, see your doctor or dermatologist to identify the cause. It is possible to have an allergy to wheat or another grain that causes a skin reaction. Since there's not any defined science on it yet, opting for gluten-free cosmetics is a very personal decision people need to make.

For more information about celiac disease, visit mayoclinic.org/celiac disease.

Tags: celiac disease, cosmetics, gluten, makeup, Tara Myles, Tips from Clinicians

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