sneezingThe term “hypoallergenic” gets thrown around a lot. The word is used to describe everything from makeup, jewelry, linens and even pets. But what exactly does the term “hypoallergenic” mean? Do products labeled as hypoallergenic really ensure quality protection from allergies? The answer may actually surprise you. Don’t Be Fooled By the Term The dictionary definition of hypoallergenic is “having little likelihood of causing an allergic response”. To allergy sufferers, this sounds great! But just because something has the word “hypoallergenic” in the label does not guarantee protection from allergy symptoms while using it. There aren’t any standards or guidelines a manufacturer has to follow in order to call their product hypoallergenic. The term is used as a way to say your likelihood of having an allergic reaction may decrease if you use their product over another, but the term does not have any medical or scientific meaning. Companies that use the term as a description for their products don't actually have to back up their claim at all. The FDA has even stated that a hypoallergenic description can actually “mean anything or nothing at all”. Which Products are the Right Products? Day-to-day allergy management requires those who suffer from allergies to pay special attention to different products they are using. While the term “hypoallergenic” may offer consumers some comfort, it is not a factor they should base their purchase on for ultimate allergy protection.
  • -Even if a product is labeled as “hypoallergenic”, there are a number of other measures you should take to ensure the product will protect you from allergy symptoms.
  • -Pay attention to whether or not the product is allergist recommended or allergist approved. Having the approval of a medical professional will be more telling of the product’s value than a hypoallergenic description.
  • -Know what the product is made of. Don’t buy or use the product if it contains something you know or suspect will cause you to have allergy symptoms.
  • -When shopping for allergy protection products, ask yourself who is making the “hypoallergenic” claim? Is it a doctor or an expert, or is the claim coming directly from the manufacturer? If it’s the latter it’s possible the label may just be a form of marketing rather than anything of medical value.
Allergy sufferers should not be fooled by the term “hypoallergenic”. Many products that are coined as hypoallergenic may work well, but you should always have a backup source of reliability. Do not depend on a hypoallergenic description alone to determine a product’s level of protection.