Allergic Reaction to Vitamin K & Vitamin E

Written by on July 18, 2008 in dermatitis with 12 Comments

This paper raises an interesting topic. The researchers were able to prove that 3 rosacea sufferers were allergic to alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) and Vitamin K. By eliminating the components of the creams they were using, they were able to isolate the individual components that were causing the allergy.

Rosacea sufferers can become attuned to the ingredient listing in cosmetics, scouring the list to find something that may irritate. It is worth knowing that even the so-called wonder ingredients themselves may be unsuitable for some. Vitamin E has been included in many products for many years and doesn’t seem to generally bother rosacea sufferers. Vitamin K is a more recent nutrient that became interesting to rosacea sufferers because of its positive affect on blood vessels.

Contact allergy from vitamins in cosmetic products, Dermatitis. 2008 May-Jun;19(3):154-6, Ramírez Santos A, Fernández-Redondo V, Pérez Pérez L, Concheiro Cao J, Toribio J.

We report three new cases of allergic contact dermatitis due to vitamins in cosmetic creams. The first patient was diagnosed with worsening rosacea but had allergic contact dermatitis from alpha-tocopherol in a moisturizing cream. The second and third cases presented as acute eyelid dermatitis due to vitamin K in eyelid lifter creams. Repeated open application testing and patch tests with the actual products and individual components of the creams were useful in establishing the diagnosis.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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12 Reader Comments

  1. Artist says:

    I think only the person with the topical Vitamin E allergy actually had rosacea. Is that correct?

  2. Hi Artist,

    Yes that is correct only 1 of the 3 was mentioned as having rosacea. I thought the Vitamin K reference was interesting also because it is a popular ingredient in several treatments that are targetted at rosacea. Thus sufferers might not be aware that an allergy to the main active ingredient that you were using the product for, is a possibility.

    A quick search for “rosacea vitamin k” finds several products so it certainly is out there, especially given the thoughts that rosacea is vascular in origin and vitamin K is good for blood vessels.


  3. Max says:

    Hi David,

    a google search for “rosacea blog” still lists before your page, although it hasn’t been updated for almost a year.

    that’s quite unusual. googles index really loves regular updates.

    maybe that’s because there’s no page people can link to?

  4. Hi Max,

    The 100+ vectors that Google use for their secret sauce to rank websties also rewards longevity. Andrew’s site has been known as the rosacea blog for much much longer than this site has. BTW I just added a redirect and updated the named link blog to use – it just redirects to the URL that will scroll through the most recent posts. Thus if people do want to link to they can. (I still haven’t quite cracked a good way to have a static front page and a scrolling blog in wordpress).


  5. Witamina K says:

    Vitamin K & Vitamin E are antyalergic? Hmmm first heard about it :/

  6. vishal says:

    i hv dematitis. through this i am suffreing from vitamin e allergy.i am from india ( mumbai)

  7. CTgirl says:

    After getting bit by what I believe was a spider, I am now allergic to vitamin E. It has been about 4 years since receiving the bit and I am still unable to apply vitamin E topically. I do not, nor have I ever suffered from rosacea. Is there a none way to cure this allergy, so that I can once again benefit form applying Vitamin E to my skin?

  8. meow says:

    I know this is old but just wanted to say I had a reaction to topical vitamin e.
    I was diagnosed with rosacea 10 yrs ago. I took antibiotics and ate bland food for about
    6 months and haven’t had an outbreak since.
    But last night I put straight topical vitamin E oil on my face. Took a shower this morning, did not use any soap
    On my face, got outta shower and my face was on fire. It reminded
    Me of the rosacea outbreak I had. I put some cucumber gel on my face
    That helped and the redness has gone down a lot. Looks like I have mild
    Rosacea on my face.
    So there very well could be some truth to this.

  9. Colon GIlbert says:

    I have suffered from allergies all my life, now 63. I went through allergy testing on 2 seperate occasions and at least 10 yrs apart, among other things I was told on both occasions that I was allergic to “Avacodos” which I avoided after being told the first time, however I was never told that I was allergic to vitamin E which I only learned about 8 yrs ago. I was taking mega doses of Vitamin E in addition to daily multi-vitamins and going to get shots 3 time a week, taking all kinds of allergy medications and continuing to get worse until a friend told me about his wife being allergic to vitamin E and I started to remove Vitamin E from my diet in eery form that I become aware of, I no longer take any medications or shots and I have improved greatly in every way. I even asked my allergy doctor about it and he could not offer any comment other than it was very unusual. Vitamin E is in lots of things i.e , Soy, almonds, all multi-vitamins, Avacodos and many more things which I continue to learn about. I also have Rosacea and it really goes beserk when I come in contact with Vitamin E. As far as I know, no one test for vitamin allergies and I for one think that might be a real problem. Good luck to any one who suffers from any alleries, I know of people who spent many years in mental hospitals before learning about environmental allergies to almost everything which affected thier abilities to do even simple things and for many years they were given powerful drugs which kept them in almost vegetative state because no-one knew what to do for them or what was causing thier problems. My allergic reations to Vitamin E has become worse as I get older and some foods which had only very small amounts of Vtamin E such as eggs now affect me adversely as well.

  10. Vit K says:

    I suffered from an allergic reaction to an eye cream containing Vitamin K a couple of years ago. The cream worked very well on the dark circles under my eyes but then after about a week, my eyes went puffy, very red and unbearably itchy. My mother suffered from the same reaction except the rash and swelling spread over her entire face! We were both berated by our doctor as he’d never heard of such nonsense as Vitamin K reducing dark circles, even though it evidently did, despite the allergic reaction. He prescribed Hydro-cortisone to the both of us. It helped in my case but did little for my mother. Surprisingly, honey applied on the face did.

    Both my mother and I don’t suffer from Rosacea, but I do have seborrheic dermatitis, especially around the eyebrow and cheek area.

  11. Karen Newhouse says:

    I realized several years ago that I was allergic to Vitamin E. Are y’all aware that products that contain Vitamin E do not necessarily list it in the contents. Charmin bath tissue is one of them

  12. Celeste says:

    Yes an allergy to Vitamin E oil is very possible. For years and years I used to use vitamin E from a capsule on my face every time I got out of the shower. It gave me beautiful unlined skin. However one day I woke up with redness, puffy and very itchy uncomfortable skin. As it turned out it was the vitamin E oil, I was unable to use it any longer. I do not understand why. Perhaps it was too high dosage of the E, I don’t know. I wonder if it was the body’s way of saying, “you’ve been using too much, no more for now.” In the meantime I need to find another pure oil for now as it kept my skin wonderfully. It stands to reason though that what may work at one time does not work for another, as it my case. I hope this helps anyone that uses E and one day wakes up with a rash!! Best of health to all of you!!!

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