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What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to Lotion?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The signs of an allergic reaction to lotion include a rash and itchy skin. An allergic reaction to any substances that have come in contact with the skin may be referred to as contact dermatitis, and it often leads to redness, burning, and chafed skin. In severe cases, the individual may develop skin blisters. Lesions that ooze with pus may indicate a skin infection.


When a person is allergic to lotions, the reaction is likely to be on the skin where it was applied. The skin may become dry and peel, or become wrinkled and flaky. The lotion is likely to irritate the skin, causing it to burn or tingle. The inflamed area may be red and warm to the touch. The signs of an allergic reaction to lotion may occur shortly after using the product, or take as long as a day or two before they appear.

Swelling or hives may develop as a reaction as well. These symptoms may range from mild to severe, and may require medical treatment. A medical professional may prescribe hydrocortisone cream or an antihistamine to reduce swelling and inflammation. If swelling occurs around the eyes or mouth, it is vital for sufferers to see a healthcare professional at once.

When blisters erupt from an allergic skin reaction, it is very important for the sufferer to stop using the lotion immediately and talk to a medical professional. Blisters caused by skin allergies can become infected. If there is discharge or pus oozing from an open sore after using lotion, topical or oral antibiotics might be required.

Depending on what the individual is allergic to, a reaction might be prevented by choosing natural or organic products, although this is not always the case. If signs of an allergic reaction to lotion are evident, it's best for the individual to make note of the ingredients used in the product. Avoiding those ingredients in the future may help prevent a recurring problem. Choosing fragrance-free products can often help prevent skin allergies as well, as these ingredients are more likely to cause a reaction.

Lotions containing cocoa butter or shea butter may cause skin allergies in some people. People who have suffered from allergies in the past migth want to perform a simple patch test by applying a dab of lotion to a small area of skin. It's important for the individual to look for changes on the skin after 12 to 24 hours. If the skin becomes itchy, red, or swells, the lotion should not be used.

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Discussion Comments
By anon947242 — On Apr 24, 2014

I used Twilight Woods on my skin with no problems, until I tried putting some on near my neck and found my skin to have small bumps. How can I be allergic to a lotion on only one area of my body? I was fine when it was used on my legs and arms.

By turquoise — On Aug 09, 2012

I got a new body lotion for my six month old son last week. After using this lotion a couple of days in a row, his skin became really dry and started to flake.

I took him to the doctor right away and the pediatrician told me that it's dermatitis and asked me if I was using any lotion. I said yes and he told me to stop using it immediately. The dryness and the flakes went away in a few days after I stopped using it.

I always thought that allergic reactions on skin would involve redness, bumps, itching and blisters. I had no idea that symptoms could be as simple as dry, flaky skin.

By burcinc — On Aug 09, 2012

@ysmina-- Were you able to figure out which ingredient you are allergic to? That would help you avoid that ingredient in the future.

I had a very similar experience recently where I got an itchy rash from a lotion. The main ingredient in it was tea tree oil, so I'm pretty sure that I have an allergy to this ingredient.

I even re-used the lotion in a small spot on my arm the next day, and got the same exact rash there. I'm going to avoid all products with tea tree oil in it from now on.

By ysmina — On Aug 08, 2012

Based on my experience, you could be allergic to any ingredient. Considering how many different ingredients are put into lotions these days, even natural ones, the risk of an allergic reaction is always there.

I had an allergic reaction to a face lotion a couple of months. When I first applied the lotion on my face it seemed fine. But within about five minutes, I felt a burning sensation all over my face. When I looked in the mirror, I saw that my entire face had turned red.

I didn't wait any longer and washed my face several times with soap and water. The irritation and redness continued for the next twenty minutes. It was only after I applied a baby rash cream with zinc oxide on my face that the burning and redness ceased.

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