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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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marieb

If You Can't Absorb Gluten Through Your Skin, Why Is It Necessary To Use Special Lotions, Soap, Etc/

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I was diagnosed on November 12th and am confused about some issues. One being the fact that I have read that the protein molecules in gluten are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, my confusion is due to the necessity of purchasing gluten free lotions, soaps, makeup (not including lipstick of course) if gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin? Thanks so much for your help.

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Welcome to the group!

There are plenty of celiacs who would agree with you... lotion, shampoo etc... is no big deal. As long as you don't ingest it ;) But... if you have a rash linked to celiac (like DH), then you would be smart to avoid gluten in any form. Also, people who are really sensitive would have to be very, very cautious about washing their hands after using a product like lotion that has gluten in it (it's too easy to accidentally lick your fingers). IMO, not worth the hassle. There are plenty of gluten-free cosmetics out there :)

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Have you ever put lotion on your hands, and then five minutes later, nicked your finger, gotten jam on it, or for some other reason licked your finger? There's a source of ingestion.

Have you ever washed your face, while you had a stuffy nose, and opened your mouth a bit to breath, and gotten a bubble or too of soapy water in your mouth? Ingestion.

Have you ever been washing your hair, and if it's longer, gotten a strand of it caught between your lips before you've rinsed the shampoo off? Ingestion.

Have you ever washed your dog and had him flail and shake soap into your mouth or put a paw on your face before he's been rinsed? Ingestion.

All of these are tiny? Yes. But for those who prefer to not take any risk, because they know there is going to be contamination they can't avoid, they eliminate this source of contamination they can to reduce how much contamination will add up. I do as well. There are lots of good gluten free options (even if you're avoiding oats), though it can narrow things down.

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Have you ever put lotion on your hands, and then five minutes later, nicked your finger, gotten jam on it, or for some other reason licked your finger? There's a source of ingestion.

Have you ever washed your face, while you had a stuffy nose, and opened your mouth a bit to breath, and gotten a bubble or too of soapy water in your mouth? Ingestion.

Have you ever been washing your hair, and if it's longer, gotten a strand of it caught between your lips before you've rinsed the shampoo off? Ingestion.

Have you ever washed your dog and had him flail and shake soap into your mouth or put a paw on your face before he's been rinsed? Ingestion.

All of these are tiny? Yes. But for those who prefer to not take any risk, because they know there is going to be contamination they can't avoid, they eliminate this source of contamination they can to reduce how much contamination will add up. I do as well. There are lots of good gluten free options (even if you're avoiding oats), though it can narrow things down.

Very well stated, Tarnalberry! I love it when people explain things well.

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I've always wondered how airborne gluten could be.

No you cannot absorb it through your skin but I'm almost positive you can absorb it through the sinuses.

When I started using the Microwave at work I had vision problems. Sinus swelling would cause some optic nerve problems. Happened 5-10 minutes after eating lunch.

Never any stomach problems at all but since its a anti-immune disease your body will attack it anywhere it finds it, which would be in the sinus if you've inhaled it.

Makes me wonder why if you get some in your lungs what happens.

If your taking a hot shower, can the soap material float with the steam and water vapor or is it heavier and fall to the ground?

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For me, it's not a matter of ingesting the lotion, shampoo, etc. My skin, especially my scalp, really reacts to the gluten in products. For years, I knew that certain shampoos gave me the itchies, but never knew why. When I eliminated shampoos and other products that contained wheat protein (which are in a lot of them), I had no more problems. Dairy in shampoos also causes a reaction for me. I was very surprised when I spotted wheat protein in Biolage, Jason's shampoo, and some of the Alba products. You really have to read the labels well since some products in a line don't have any added, while others do. I use Alba shampoo and conditioner, but another of their conditioners has gluten. A lot of people recommend Burt's Bees, but some of their products, including at least one type of shampoo, have gluten in them.

lbd

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Thanks for all of your responses! I now understand why it is necessary to insure that gluten isn't found in any products I use or consume. I have so much to learn and grasp. I appreciate your explanations and help!

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I've always wondered how airborne gluten could be.

No you cannot absorb it through your skin but I'm almost positive you can absorb it through the sinuses.

When I started using the Microwave at work I had vision problems. Sinus swelling would cause some optic nerve problems. Happened 5-10 minutes after eating lunch.

Never any stomach problems at all but since its a anti-immune disease your body will attack it anywhere it finds it, which would be in the sinus if you've inhaled it.

Makes me wonder why if you get some in your lungs what happens.

If your taking a hot shower, can the soap material float with the steam and water vapor or is it heavier and fall to the ground?

Sounds like you may have a gluten allergy

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I was diagnosed on November 12th and am confused about some issues. One being the fact that I have read that the protein molecules in gluten are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, my confusion is due to the necessity of purchasing gluten free lotions, soaps, makeup (not including lipstick of course) if gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin? Thanks so much for your help.

Your information is correct, Marie, and going gluten-free with skin products (except lip products) is totally a choice issue. Some feel they will be glutened when they wash their hair or use hand lotion so if they choose to use gluten-free products, that's OK too but not necessary. It all depends on how careful you are. The way to see whether or not you are actually ingesting gluten in small amounts is by how you feel or by repeat blood work on a yearly basis. Blood work does not lie and if you are ingesting gluten, it will raise your antibody levels if you were diagnosed using blood work. I do not use gluten-free products, or should I say that I do not check the status of anything except for what goes on my lips and it has worked well for me.

The other misconception is those suffering from DH cannot touch gluten containing products. Read Dr. Peter Green's book: Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic and it has a good explanation on this subject.

You have to ingest gluten, period, to have any kind of reaction and Dr. Green claims that those with DH

can use gluten containing products as long as they are not ingested. His explanation goes on to say that people who react topically are reacting to some other ingredient in the product and probably have an allergy on top of the DH problem. This is a hotly contested topic but what ever you decide to do, make sure you have valid information from a good source (medical) to help make decisions that work well for you.

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Your information is correct, Marie, and going gluten-free with skin products (except lip products) is totally a choice issue. Some feel they will be glutened when they wash their hair or use hand lotion so if they choose to use gluten-free products, that's OK too but not necessary. It all depends on how careful you are. The way to see whether or not you are actually ingesting gluten in small amounts is by how you feel or by repeat blood work on a yearly basis. Blood work does not lie and if you are ingesting gluten, it will raise your antibody levels if you were diagnosed using blood work. I do not use gluten-free products, or should I say that I do not check the status of anything except for what goes on my lips and it has worked well for me.

The other misconception is those suffering from DH cannot touch gluten containing products. Read Dr. Peter Green's book: Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic and it has a good explanation on this subject.

You have to ingest gluten, period, to have any kind of reaction and Dr. Green claims that those with DH

can use gluten containing products as long as they are not ingested. His explanation goes on to say that people who react topically are reacting to some other ingredient in the product and probably have an allergy on top of the DH problem. This is a hotly contested topic but what ever you decide to do, make sure you have valid information from a good source (medical) to help make decisions that work well for you.

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Well, our blood work is negative ( there are a percentage of people who will not test positive and I'm not sure if that puts the blood work as unreliable or what) so I can't depend on it to let me know if we ingest gluten or not. I switched because of that. I also switched because of the toddler who likes to drink the bath water, lick her fingers or people or the cat for that matter, who is unable to control water ( and the gluten soap dissolved in the water) from getting in her mouth and still makes an unholy mess with everything that completely coats hers. Getting rid of gluten in everything was easier than trying to keep it from getting in her. I treat it like a severe peanut allergy.

Also, it's a lot easier than having to worry. If I have a can of gluten food, use the can opener ,and forget to clean it before I open the gluten free food, then it's possible to have contaminated the can. If I use gluten food, put in the dishwasher and then it doesn't wash the food off well and leaves little bits..... Which bits are the gluten?? I just removed gluten from everything including the dog's food.

Another thought is after switching to gluten free mascara,my eyes stopped itching and were no longer red. You just never know.

Stacie

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When gluten or wheat are used in non-food products, is the labeling straightforward, or do I have to be on the lookout for Ingredient X319-7Ja now, too? I've never seen them listed, so either luck was guiding my choices or I'm really, really, unobservant. Oh wait!! I know where to find out. Cosmetics Safety Database lists like, every ingredient ever, what names it's used under, brands that contain it, and a health-risk assessment. I can't remember the URL offhand but if you google it... that's an incredibly useful website.

I was about to erase this reply, but I thought others might like to check that out.

Peas!

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I am 2 months in to gluten-free and I totally thought the same thing...and then i started paying attention to what i did after i washed my hair, put lotion on etc. I will put lotion on my face then floss my teeth (hand in mouth= gluten in mouth), then I'll play with my hair or run in through my fingers then put a piece of gum in my mouth..(hands touch hair, then gum= gluten in mouth). Stuff like that. Pay attention to your routine and you'll start to get it. And its not too hard to find gluten free products and when you take into consideration that this is for your health, its a small price to pay. Even if you dont react out wardly you could still be damaging your insides which creates serious health consequences. Its just better for us to be as gluten-free as possible in this gluteny world :-)

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Pay attention to your routine and you'll start to get it.

Yeah I wash my hands before I put Carmex on my lips. Just in case!

My son still eats gluten, and one day I made a comment about the gluten in his food. He said "No, we don't have any gluten! It's all gone!" Oh wouldn't that be nice? A gluten-free world? The little bugger contaminated my marshmallows. Darn him. His gluten days are numbered, I can feel it.

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You don't have to absorb something to react to it. If you are particularly vulnerable just being in the same room with an antagonist is enough.

I used to get an anaphylactic reaction to fruit of the peach family - even cutting them up for the kids was enough to trigger a reaction (I don't know if it will still happen as I haven't had any dealings with them for years). Peeling an orange will make my eyes swell up, especially if I don't wash my hands enough to remove the oils and rub or touch my eyes for any reason.

Not all are, but some are so sensitive to gluten and other antagonists that they will react very easily and very rapidly to the merest contamination.

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Not all are, but some are so sensitive to gluten and other antagonists that they will react very easily and very rapidly to the merest contamination.

Here's my theory, and this is my personal opinion only, not from any official source, but what I think is that some celiacs on top of the celiac disease have an actual gluten/wheat allergy. This means that they react in an allergic manner to gluten, as well as getting the immune response.

Most of us celiacs aren't that sensitive, and would be unlikely to ingest enough gluten through shampoo, lotion, the dog etc, especially as it's not possible to absorb it through the skin.

Those who are sensitive enough know it by their reaction, the rest of us are lucky enough not to have to stress out about it, and just need to take common-sense CC precautions with food.

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Here's my theory, and this is my personal opinion only, not from any official source, but what I think is that some celiacs on top of the celiac disease have an actual gluten/wheat allergy. This means that they react in an allergic manner to gluten, as well as getting the immune response.

Most of us celiacs aren't that sensitive, and would be unlikely to ingest enough gluten through shampoo, lotion, the dog etc, especially as it's not possible to absorb it through the skin.

Those who are sensitive enough know it by their reaction, the rest of us are lucky enough not to have to stress out about it, and just need to take common-sense CC precautions with food.

Or rather than it being an allegic reaction some of us may have a more pronounced autoimmune reaction than others. Once someone starts having severe autoimmune issues it only takes an extremely small amount to set the antibodies cascading throughout the system again.

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For me, it's not a matter of ingesting the lotion, shampoo, etc. My skin, especially my scalp, really reacts to the gluten in products. For years, I knew that certain shampoos gave me the itchies, but never knew why. When I eliminated shampoos and other products that contained wheat protein (which are in a lot of them), I had no more problems. Dairy in shampoos also causes a reaction for me. I was very surprised when I spotted wheat protein in Biolage, Jason's shampoo, and some of the Alba products. You really have to read the labels well since some products in a line don't have any added, while others do. I use Alba shampoo and conditioner, but another of their conditioners has gluten. A lot of people recommend Burt's Bees, but some of their products, including at least one type of shampoo, have gluten in them.

lbd

Ditto for me. I develop a rash if I use any product with gluten in it.

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Or rather than it being an allegic reaction some of us may have a more pronounced autoimmune reaction than others. Once someone starts having severe autoimmune issues it only takes an extremely small amount to set the antibodies cascading throughout the system again.

I would say that it's not a case of having a more or less severe AI reaction, I think it's differences in how your body's nervous system reacts to the AI process being initiated.

I'm personally of the view (based on the advice of a specialist celiac dietician) that the severity of your symptoms is not related to the level of gut damage and that being highly sensitive does not mean you have a more severe form of celiac disease. For all of us it only takes a very small amount of gluten to set off the auto-immune response.

When diagnosed I had pronounced villi destruction, and my Ttg IGA level was over 200 (normal being less than 20), so my level of autoimmune response was very severe. However, I had very few symptoms to speak of, so I am a case in point that symptoms are not indicative of level of disease severity in celiac disease.

In terms of what you need to worry about to avoid getting sick, there are basic precautions that every celiac needs to take to avoid getting sick (gut damage) in the long term such as using a seperate toaster, thoroughly cleaning any glutened cooking utensils etc.

If you're very symptomatic then there's additional precautions that you need to take to avoid getting sick in the short term (like using gluten-free toiletries in case you ingest them). I do not think that a highly symptomatic response means that on the inside your villi are being shredded to ribbons, it just means that your body's nervous system is highly reactive (like in a severe allergic response).

If you're not a very sensitive celiac in terms of overt symptoms, personally, I think you put yourself to unnecessary stress by worrying beyond the basic precautions (which, let's face it, are enough of a PITA all by themselves).

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"Another thought is after switching to gluten free mascara,my eyes stopped itching and were no longer red. You just never know."

Okay, give it up on the brand of gluten-free mascara you use. I never thought that was the reason my eyes were red!!

I definately have a Gluten allergy and can't use products with gluten on my skin. I never had DH but, when I stopped using gluten shampoo, my scalp magically stopped itching!

I wonder if there is a corralation between having a negative blood test and being allergic to gluten vs. being celiac?

Any thoughts....

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If I remember right (the label wears off and I can't read the name ) it is ZUZU

http://www.cosmeticskitchen.com/zuzu-luxe-vegan-mascara.html

expensive UGH Long lasting Good Sometimes clumpy but I can fix that . Wears well and stays on my eyelashes and not my face. Now get it at the local Earth Fare store.

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