Celiac Patients Want to Know if Gluten is in Cosmetics

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The lack of readily available information about cosmetic ingredients may cause patients with celiac disease who use lip, facial or body products to unknowingly expose themselves to gluten—an ingredient they need to avoid.

The study, “Information About Cosmetic Ingredients is Difficult to Obtain: A Potential Hazard for Celiac Patients,” focused on the top 10 cosmetic companies in the United States in order to evaluate the availability of information about cosmetic ingredients and the accessibility of gluten-free products.

The study was unveiled this week at the American College of Gastroenterology’s (ACG) 76th Annual Scientific meeting in Washington, DC.

“While information on the ingredients of food products has become increasingly available, recent reports have revealed that the use of some cosmetics, including products used on the lips and face, can result in unexpected exposure to gluten,” said researchers Marie L. Borum, MD, EdD, MPH and Pia Prakash, MD, of George Washington University.

Dr. Borum said this study was prompted in part by one of her patient cases, “Body Lotion Causing A Celiac Exacerbation and Dermatitis Herpetiformis: Natural is Not Always Healthy,” where a 28-year old woman experienced exacerbation of her celiac symptoms, including gastrointestinal complications and a recurring skin rash after using a body lotion advertised as “natural.”

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