Dr. Matt Zirwas, MD, FAAD

Physician (MD, DO)


Dermatologic Surgery,
General Dermatology

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Bexley Dermatology
2359 E. Main St.
Bexley, Ohio 43209 [MAP]
For an appointment, call (614) 947-1716
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Cocamidopropyl Betaine Allergy


Allergy testing has shown that you are sensitive to betaines. These are common surfactants
They allow oil and water to mix in a product and they make soaps and shampoos lather. They are also used in many conditioners to allow the oily conditioning ingredients to mix into the conditioner.

Betaines and are used in many personal care products, mainly including:

  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo
  • Bar soaps (specifically Dove soap)
  • Toothpaste
  • Dishsoaps and Household Cleaners

Dimethylamines are used in hair conditioners.

Dermatitis from shampoo and conditioner can occur on the scalp, face, neck, ears, or hands. Local cleansers may cause hand, face, eye
lid, genital, or perianal dermatitis. Body washes or soaps containing CAPB can lead to widespread rash. Contact lens cleaners with CAPB may cause
eyelid rash or conjunctivitis.

Avoiding betaines is difficult because they go by three different names:

    • Betaine
    • Sultai
    • Dimethylamine

You should do the following:

  • Avoid any product that has any of the above words in the ingredient list. Most of these words will be one part of a longer name.
  • Avoid using any products that you don't know the ingredients of, such as restroom soaps. You should carry your own soap with you.
  • If you were given a list of products today, you can use any products on that list because all of these products are free of all betaines.
    Be careful to avoid products with names that are similar to, but not exactly the same as, the products on the list.