There is often a lot of confusion surrounding sulfite allergies and sulfa allergies, particularly when it comes to skin care. Many people believe that if they are allergic to one of these agents, they are allergic to all of them. However, this is not the case. Dr. Joel Schlessinger sheds light on this common misconception and explains the differences between a sulfite allergy and a sulfa allergy.
Sulfa and sulfite are two different things, explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
“Sulfa is an antibiotic and sulfite is a preservative that is in a huge amount of things you eat or come in contact with each day,” explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
Sulfa is the basis of many common medications. It is a synthetic antimicrobial agent that helps fight off bacteria. Sulfite, on the other hand, is a very common ingredient found in a number of food and drink products to increase shelf-life.
“Sulfite allergy and sulfa allergy are very different,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “While it is always possible that you could be allergic to sulfites, being allergic to sulfites applied to your skin it is very unlikely.”
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends Obagi for sulfa-sensitive patients.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, routinely suggests Obagi for individuals who are allergic to sulfa. This line is both gentle and powerful on the skin without causing harm to sulfa-sensitive skin.
“If you have eaten at a salad bar or eaten salad out of the bags then you likely have had sulfites,” explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “Obagi doesn’t place a warning on their packaging about sulfites because they are such a common ingredient.”
Do you have additional questions about sulfa or sulfite allergies? Ask Dr. Joel Schlessinger in the comments below.