Allergies to Cocoa Butter Lotions

Allergy to cocoa butter lotion is known as allergic contact dermatitis, or skin inflammation that results from an allergic reaction after contact with a particular substance 5. This skin condition is commonly a result of an allergy to substances such as nickel, poison ivy and fragrances 58.

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When cocoa butter lotion is applied to the skin, the immune system reacts and produces a cascade of inflammatory chemicals that result in a skin reaction 48 to 72 hours within an application of the cocoa butter. The next time the lotion is applied, the immune system is able to react more quickly and the reaction tends to occur in less time. Symptoms may not occur with the first application and in some cases a product can be used for years prior to developing an allergy 5. Once the allergy develops, however, symptoms will be present every time the lotion is used 5.


Symptoms of an allergy to cocoa butter lotion include a skin rash where the lotion made contact with skin 5. This rash may appear as red skin with little bumps and often presents with severe itching. Red, dry patches may be present and blistering can occur. This rash is often painful, and in severe cases can feel like a burn. The more contact an area of skin had with the lotion, the more likely that area will be severely affected.


A dermatologist or allergist can diagnose an allergy to cocoa butter lotion by taking a careful health history 5. A patch test can assist in the diagnosis. This procedure involves placing a small amount of the suspected allergen on the skin and leaving the allergen on the skin for the next two days. The physician examines the skin for a reaction following a 48-hour period.


The primary treatment includes avoidance of cocoa butter lotion. For symptom relief, topical steroids can reduce inflammation. Antihistamines such as benadryl helps relieve intense itching. For severe cases, oral corticosteroids may be prescribed to decrease inflammation. Finally, antibiotic cream or oral antibiotics should be used if there is any concern that the affected area is infected, according to the website May Clinic.


Once an allergy to cocoa butter lotion is diagnosed, it is important to review the labels of any other lotions or fragrances 5. There are often fragrances or additives other than cocoa butter in cocoa butter lotion and these additives can be present in other products and should be avoided 4.