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Andy PhD DABT , Toxicologist
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 133
Experience:  Board certified with 20 years in research or consulting
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Not sure which category this is I dont know if i need a dr

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Not sure which category this is I dont know if i need a dr chemist ot hair salon but Im having problems with a highlighting kit with these ingredients: Ingredients:

Frosting Powder Contains: Potassium Persulfate, Sodium Metasilicate, Sodium Stearate, Sucrose, Sodium Persulfate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Silicate, Silica, Hydrated Silica, EDTA, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ultramarines. 12806

Cream Developer Contains: Water, Hydrogen Peroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Cyclomethicone, Trimethysiloxysilicate, Trimethylsilamodimethicone, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-16 Pareth-9, Trideceth-12, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Steareth-10 Allylether/Acrylate Copolymer, Disodium Phosphate, Phosphoric Acid, EDTA, Methylparaben. 11336

Now some more info. The-above ingredients are what I'm having problems with, well something in it. I would like to add I use peroxide household kind with no problem. Also above is a 20 volume. I tried ppd free hair dye dark and it didn't bother me.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am thank you :)

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I am a toxicologist, I might be able to help you. Can you please explain what the problem is you are having with these products?

Take care,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well it's a highlighting kit for hair and when I use it usually I get a rash or red blotches on my arms usually no where else exept the last time I used it I ran nag dot a shower and my legs were stinging a bit, it usually is fine after showering never lasting over an hour or two of that, it's nots a huge problem I just don't want to have a really bad allergic reaction, and don't know if I'm just sensitive or allergic, have used this for over a decade and it had always done this though the last time it must have gotten under the cap as my scalp the top and neck were red for a few days. I was trying to figure out the difference in what I'm currently using which is dark the ingredients listed under already tried and what's in what has bothered me in the top listing. I can't tell if there is bleach or peroxide or what type of whitener is in it. I use household peroxide to cleanse wounds and on my feet no problem,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Also these are the ingredients that I'm thinking of using but don't know if it's the same as the one im having problems with there are two Lightening Powder:  Potassium Persulfate, Sodium Silicate, Ammonium Persulfate, Silica, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Disodium EDTA, Ultramarines

Developing Creme:  Water, Hydrogen Peroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Laureth-23, Steareth-21, Ceteareth-20, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate / Dicaprate, Styrene / VP Copolymer, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Etidronic Acid

Liquid Lightener:  Oleic Acid, Oleth-2, Water, Propylene Glycol, Ethanolamine, Isopropyl Alcohol, Soytrimonium Chloride, Ethoxydiglycol, C12-15 Pareth-3, Hexylene Glycol, Ammonium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Erythorbic Acid, Sodium Sulfite, EDTA.

This is the second one Ammonia-Free Lightening Powder: Potassium Persulfate, Sodium Silicate, Silica, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hydrolysed Wheat Protein, Parfum, Geraniol.

Cream Activator: Aqua, Hydrogen Peroxide, **Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Ceteth 2, Ceteareth 25, Phosphoric Acid, Oxyquinoline Sulfate.

So when your arms get this rash, does the highlighting chemical ever come in contact with your arms, i.e., your hair is touching your arms and that is where the rash forms?

Take care,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Prolly does? But I don't wXXXXX XXXXXke have an anophalarix shock or something

Alright, looking at these chemicals, two things are possible; it could be a chemical burn or an allergy. You could be getting a chemical burn from the oxidizers in the products. These would include potassium persulfate, sodium persulfate, and hydrogen peroxide or from the combination of all of them. You say you don't have problems with just hydrogen peroxide, but it could be that the combinations of it with the persulfates is too much for your skin to handle, or the hydrogen peroxide in the cream developer is at a much higher concentration then in household hydrogen peroxide.

The other possibility is that you are allergic to some chemical in those products. Of the chemicals you listed, I only see two that have a relatively high risk of causing allergies, those are ultramarines, and methylparaben. Both have been shown to cause allergies on the skin (contact dermatitis). I could not identify any chemical from the numbers you gave at the end (12806 or 11336). Are these product numbers or are they ingredient numbers? There is a naming convention for dyes that uses numbers such as C.I. 11000, where the C.I. stands for color index, but there are no C.I. 12806 or C.I. 11336 dyes that I can find. If these do refer to dyes then they also could be causing an allergic reaction.

You might be able to distinguish the two effects by doing a test next time you highlight your hair. If highlighting your hair doesn't take very long to do, then you could take some benadryl about 30 minutes before you start (though you might start to get sleepy) and see if you get the same reaction. Since that will make you sleepy, you could also try just doing the highlighting and if the rash appears put benadryl spray gel on it and see if it goes away faster then you normally see it go away. If the benadryl works, then it is likely an allergic reaction, if it doesn't help at all, it is probably a chemical burn.

Either way, you don't want it to happen. So try wearing a plastic cover over your arms and shoulders and then wash off as soon as you are done with your hair. For chemical burns the best thing to do is just wash it off as much as you can, flushing with water for 10 minutes or so and you can use soap, but avoid scrubbing it as that can make it worse. I don't think you will be able to find highlighters that don't have oxidizers in them, but if it's an allergy you can find products that don't have the allergen in them. If that is the case try to find things that don't contain ulramarines or methylparaben. You can also see if it is one product over the other if you can substitute just he frosting powder for one that doesn't have ulramarines or just the cream developer that doesn't have the methylparaben. You might find that you can keep using one of those products and only have to substitute the other for another product.

Luckily you have not had an anaphylactic reaction yet, but allergies can get worse over time, so it is a good thing to avoid what ever it is you may be allergic to.

I hope this helps and good luck with the next time you highlight your hair.

Take care,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
thanks a bundle! Yea i dont want anaphalatic but I dont know how to test without using it, but fear the shock or severe allergic reaction. although i never really paid any attention to it before, its done this for years, but just started getting scared. Im not sure whether to try it or not, if i did i would not have it to touch me at all, am wondering if i would still have a reaction.
I didnt know a toxicologist was on here and i have a question about pesticides, would you be the one to ask about that? I'm trying to figure out the pesticide breakdown and how it reacts, if so let me know and i will submit a question. My question regards fipronil.Thanks :)

Yes I can help you with your pesticide question. You can get me directly by going through my profile ( and put in the title of your question that it is for Andy_PhD_DABT. There is a toxicology category on Just Answer, but it is called a beta category and is not put on the main list of categories. Most people who find me through the toxicology category say they found me by doing a google search for toxicology expert. However there is only one other expert in the toxicology beta-category besides me. I also answer questions in the health category. A beta category doesn't get promoted to a main category unless it gets a certain volume of questions.

I recommend you switch products and try to use the one that you didn't have this reaction with before or look for ones that don't contain ultramarines or methylparaben (though it still could be something else causing an allergic reaction). Also you should see an allergist about this, they can possibly help you with the test I will describe below. Also when you highlight your hair again, make sure what ever product you end up using doesn't touch your skin, I think most people wrap the hair in aluminum foil to keep it from touching their skin.

If you really wanted to test and see if you are allergic then you could do a skin test. However, since these do have oxidizers putting this stuff on your skin on purpose is really not a great idea since you could get a chemical burn. So if you really wanted to test for allergies, you could try taking the cream developer and diluting it 100 times, one teaspoon into 2 cups of water, and mix it up. Then take a small amount of that diluted cream and put it on your forearm near the inside of your elbow, since the skin there is pretty thin. If you are allergic you should see it get red within 10 minutes. If it gets red, especially if it forms raised circles - hives, then put some benadryl spray gel on it and see if it goes away in the next 10 minutes. If so, then it is probably an allergic reaction to the methylparaben or something else in the cream developer. If it does not go away with the benadryl then it is probably a chemical burn, though with it diluted 100 times it should not produce a chemical burn. The thing about allergies is that you only need a small amount to trigger an attack, so by diluting the cream, I am hoping it is diluted enough so that it won't cause a chemical burn, but will still be enough to cause an allergic reaction. So if it looks like an allergic reaction then stop using that product. If no rash at all occurs, then try it again, but only dilute it 10 times (1 teaspoon of cream in 9 teaspoons of water). If there still is no rash, then you are probably not allergic to the cream, so try it with the frosting powder. It would be a good idea to also have oral benadryl around just in case you have a reaction that gets strong. If you see an allergist, which I recommend, they might be able to help you with doing this skin test.

If you do this test, please tell me how it come out.

Take care,
Andy PhD DABT, Toxicologist
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 133
Experience: Board certified with 20 years in research or consulting
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