You might be surprised to learn that gluten does not just exist in the foods you eat. Every room of your house can possibly contain products with gluten or gluten residue in them, exposing the gluten-free person in your home to potential problems.
Cosmetics, lipstick and hand lotion sometimes contain gluten. While products like cosmetics and hand lotion are not ingested, residue left on your hands can transfer to the foods you eat or into your mouth by other means.
Lipstick with gluten in it can enter the mouth without problem, at all. To prevent gluten contamination, ensure these products do not come in contact with your mouth. Wash your hands well after applying cosmetics. It is best to use gluten-free lotions, makeup and lipstick, whenever possible.
Gluten in the Bathroom
Any product which may be accidentally swallowed can cause problems for someone with celiac disease, if gluten is an ingredient.
Check all oral hygiene products to ensure toothpaste, mouthwash and others do not have gluten. Most toothpastes are gluten free today, but check the label just to be sure. Children with long hair often put their hair in their mouths. This is one reason it may be best to use gluten-free shampoos for children who are gluten intolerant.
Gluten Cross-Contamination in the Living Room
Snacks often enjoyed in front of the television, video games or while socializing often have gluten.
Cross-contamination can be an issue if people are not paying attention or food comingles. Children can be particularly vulnerable in such situations, especially if they are still learning how to be gluten-free. Video game controllers, remote controls and other heavily-handled items can cause transfer of gluten from one snacker’s hands to those of another. To prevent these problems, maintain a “no snacks in the living room” rule. When snacks are eaten at the dining table or in the kitchen, ensure everyone washes their hands before returning to game play, the television or other rooms in the house.
Modeling clays and play dough often contain gluten, as do many finger paints and pastes. Kids often put their fingers in their mouths and any residue on their hands easily transfers by that means. Find products that are gluten free. Some brands are clearly labeled as not having gluten. If these cannot be found in stores or online, try making homemade play dough or paste specifically listed as being from a gluten-free recipe.
Gluten in the Backyard
Sunscreen or tanning lotions can contain gluten and may get into the mouth during application, from transfer by hands to food or through sweating. Check the label to ensure sunscreen products are gluten free. If you cannot determine whether your products are free of gluten, contact the manufacturer.
Medicine Cabinet Gluten
Many people do not realize that many binding ingredients in medications include gluten. All prescribing doctors and issuing pharmacists should be made aware of gluten intolerance and patients should inquire about each medication and over-the-counter product they ingest.