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Celiac disease symptoms from gluten in shampoo and soap?

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

Gluten in products applied on the skin should not be a problem to most people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). However, many community members were sharing that they have skin reactions after using gluten-containing personal care products. Therefore, we decided to start collecting findings from recent studies to see why some people may react to gluten-containing ingredients in shampoo, soap, cosmetics, and lotions, among others.

First, we explain why manufacturers use gluten in these products.

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Gluten as ingredient of personal care products

The chemical characteristics of gluten are important to the industry of personal care products. The word gluten comes from the latin word "glutin" which means "glue" and explain its main use in these products.

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Gluten emulsifying properties in personal care products

Most of celiac organizations and medical researchers indicate that gluten cannot be absorbed through skin or hair. Hence, using personal care products does not represent a significant risk for most people with gluten-related conditions. However, it may be a problem for people with allergies to wheat, barley, and rye. Remember that having an allergy to a gluten-containing grain and having a gluten sensitivity (celiac or non-celiac) are not two mutually exclusive conditions. A person with celiac disease could have barley allergy, as well as a person with NCGS could have wheat allergy.

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Conditions when gluten in personal care products is not safe for people with celiac disease and NCGS

We contact some of the community members with celiac disease and NCGS to confirm if they had lesions, applied the personal care products too close to their mouth, or if they were tested for allergies to wheat, barley, and rye. They did not have lesions and they did not applied it close to their lips. Some of them were tested for these allergies before and they all came up negative. Then, we wondered why they are having reactions.

We continued gathering information to know what is happening to our community members and we found some recent research about hydrolized wheat protein (HWP).

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Hydrolyzed wheat protein potential allergic reactions

It is possible that the presence of HWP in personal care products could be affecting people with celiac disease or NCGS who are not allergic to wheat.

Too much information, do not worry ! We summarized the main takeaways of this article for you.

If you have further questions related to celiac disease or other gluten-related condition, you can email them to us or leave the questions on the website chat. If your question can help more people with celiac disease, we will search scientific references and prepare content about it to share on our website.

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Main takeaways about gluten in personal care products

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