I am a new stepmom to a beautiful little girl with celiac disease. I am also doing a research paper for my A&P class on this. What is the likelihood of something that is not gluten-free like shampoo and other topical stuff causing harm someone with this disease?
Sometimes when using beauty products that have gluten in them, there is a risk that some amount of gluten will be ingested. For example, shampoo. If the shampoo gets on your daughter's fingers, or she plays with her hair by putting it near her mouth, then gluten can be ingested.
The gluten that is physically on the skin or hair is not a problem. It is when the gluten is unknowingly ingested. This small amount can cause inflammation. From the NASPAGHAN celiac disease guidelines, there is evidence that small amounts of gluten ingested on a regular basis can lead to mucosal changes on intestinal biopsy. Previously, products containing less than 200 ppm were regarded as gluten-free. Currently, a limit of 20 ppm is defined as gluten-free.
Center for Celiac Disease at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia