Say hello to ColourStart …
ColourStart is a ready-to-use patch test for finding out if you might be allergic to one of the ingredients (ppd) in hair colourants.
How ColourStart can help you?
ColourStart is a clean and convenient way to screen for potential allergy to one of the chemicals, called para-phenylenediamine (ppd), found in most hair colours. To reduce the risk of experiencing an allergic reaction to hair colour, some manufacturers recommend screening for allergy by using an allergy alert test (aat) on the skin.
ColourStart can be used instead of the aat to test for allergy to ppd.
How it works
ColourStart can show whether you may be allergic to the hair colour ingredient ppd. It works by exposing the skin to a very small, controlled amount of ppd, far less than is contained in hair colour.
ColourStart should only be used by those aged 16 or over. Hair colourants are not intended for use by anyone under 16 years of age.
How to use ColourStart
ColourStart consists of an adhesive patch that contains two small, separate squares. One square contains a small amount of ppd (this is the positive ‘+’ part), the other contains no ppd (this is the negative ‘-‘ part) and is used for comparison only.
The patch is applied to an easily visible part of the arm at least 5 days before an appointment for hair colour. The patch is left on for at least 48 hours (2 days) and then removed. 48 hrs (2 days) later, the arm can be inspected for any sign of a reaction.
If there is any sign of redness, itching or inflammation on the site of the patch, this is an indication that you may be allergic to ppd. If this happens you should not use hair colourant. If you are unsure about what to do, or if you have a severe reaction, you should seek the advice of a pharmacist or doctor. Please see the patient information leaflet (pil).
Do not use ColourStart if you
- Suspect or know that you are allergic to ppd or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (see section 6).
- If you have active dermatitis on your skin (e.g.. Redness, swelling, itching)
- Have previously experienced an allergy to hair colourant
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding
- If you are taking oral or topical steroids and other immunosuppressant medicines see section “taking other medicines and ColourStart” below.
Do not perform the “allergy alert test” as instructed on hair colourants in addition to using this medicine. This is because repeated exposure of the skin to ppd whether in applying hair colourant, performing the “allergy alert test” or in using ColourStart, may cause sensitisation (development of allergy) in some individuals. For this reason, ColourStart test patch should not be used more than once if you are using the same hair colour product, but may be repeated if you switch to a new hair colour product. (See “warnings and precautions: sensitisation”).
ColourStart is not recommended for adolescents and children under 16 years of age. Hair colourants are not intended for use by children under 16 years of age.
Warnings and precautions
Sensitisation in rare instances, you may become allergic to the ppd present on the ColourStart patch. This is also a risk with exposure to hair colourants containing ppd. Any reaction which occurs at the site of where the patch was applied, approximately 10 days later, may be a sign of contact sensitisation. If this happens talk to your doctor or pharmacist and do not use hair colourants if this happens.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you require further advice regarding use of this product or in deciding if it is suitable for you.
Take special care with ColourStart
- If you go out in the sun regularly, as you should avoid exposing the area where the patch is applied to the sun. This is particularly important during the summer.
- Avoid getting the patch excessively wet as this may cause the patch to loosen and stop working properly. Take care therefore when bathing, showering or during periods of exercise where you may sweat.
Taking other medicines and ColourStart
Do not use ColourStart if you are taking oral or topical steroids (such as prednisolone, betamethasone, dexamethasone, fludrocortisone, fluticasone, hydrocortisone or immunosuppressant medicines (such as tacrolimus, cyclosporine, mycophenolate, azathioprine, sirolimus) as they may suppress a positive reaction.
If you are unsure if any medicines you may be taking will interfere with ColourStart, you should speak to your pharmacist.
Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility
Pregnant women should not use ColourStart. If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant or are planning to have a baby ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine. You should not use ColourStart if you are breast-feeding your baby.
Driving and using machines
There are no known effects of ColourStart on driving or using machinery
A temporary black henna tattoo may increase your risk of having an allergic reaction when you colour your hair.
Do not use ColourStart if you have a temporary black henna tattoo do not use ColourStart if you have had any reaction to a temporary black henna tattoo in the past
How to use ColourStart
Always apply the self-adhesive patch at least 5 days before any colouring process. This is because ppd sensitivity sometimes causes reactions that may not appear until 4 to 5 days after application.
Always use this medicine exactly as described in the leaflet.
ColourStart is not recommend for adolescents and children under 16 years of age.
Adults and adolescents aged 16 years and over:
The video link below relates to the use of the patch on the upper arm.
‘Select a clean, dry, intact area of skin to apply the patch. The patch should be applied only to healthy skin that is free of acne, scars, dermatitis or any other condition that may interfere with the test results. Avoid placing the patch on areas of the skin where creams or emollients have been applied as these may affect how the patch sticks to the skin.’