Allergic reactions to hair dyes are a common occurrence, often appearing as a red, flaky, and itchy rash on the skin that has come into contact with the dye, known as contact dermatitis. This type of reaction can occur anywhere from three to six weeks after the hair dye treatment, especially when the dye comes into prolonged contact with the skin or when rinsed directly onto the skin. The face, neck, eyelids, and ears are the most commonly affected areas. Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) is a common allergen found in hair dye, which can cause mild to severe reactions, including anaphylaxis.
Treatment for this type of rash typically involves topical steroid ointments, and the best prevention is to discontinue use of the hair dye that caused the reaction and other hair dyes or products with the same ingredients. Patch testing on the inner wrist or arm before application is also essential to identify any potential reactions. If the rash persists for over a week or steroid ointments prove ineffective, it is essential to seek professional medical attention from our office at 202-737-6800.