5 agents dwelling in your home that may be causing skin irritation

By Skin & Hair Academy  |   January 13, 2016

Human skin is sensitive. Skin irritation or skin reactions such as redness, itchy skin and inflammation are quite common. Many times, the offender that irritates your skin is inside your own house and gets overlooked. Our busy lives make it difficult to identify potentially harmful irritants that are lurking in our homes.

 

The five most common skin irritants that your home might be harbouring are:

Clothing

All fibres can potentially cause irritant and allergic contact dermatitis. However, most allergic skin reactions to clothing are because of dyes, glues, chemical additives, formaldehyde finishing resins and tanning agents used in the processing of a fabric. Those who have atopic dermatitis are at greater risk of skin reactions from rough fabrics such as wool. If you experience itchiness or any kind of skin irritation with a certain fabric, take it out of your wardrobe. [1]

Food

Foods can make your skin itchy, bumpy, chapped, scaly, or irritated. You may even have skin reactions after handling certain foods. Be very careful when you have cuts or cracks on your hands as handling acidic foods or spices can be irritating. [2]

Fragrances

A splash of cologne/deodorant makes you smell good, but it is formulated using several chemicals that aren’t skin-friendly. Fragrance allergies usually appear in the form of skin rash or hives. The rash associated with fragrance is characteristically located on the face, hands and arms. [3]

Soap

Toilet soap, dishwashing soap and body washes could be the culprits as far as skin reactions are concerned. The practice of excessive hand washing can also strip your skin of its natural oils and make it dry and chapped. If you have a sensitive skin, you are advised not to use a new soap as it can trigger an outbreak of itching, redness or other types of inflammation. [4]

Household cleaners

Household cleaners do keep germs away but can sometimes be the reason for allergic skin reactions. So, be careful when using all-purpose cleaners, dish detergents, laundry detergents, drain cleaners, toilet disinfectants, and furniture polish. It is recommended to wear protective gloves while handling household cleaners. [5]

 

If you have identified the offending irritant, avoid it. If you can’t figure out the underlying cause of a skin reaction, see a dermatologist. He will give you a clear picture after understanding your day-to-day tasks, chores as well as drug and cosmetics use. Patch testing may be done to see if you’re sensitive to allergens that most commonly cause dermatitis.

References

[1]. Skin Care Tips for Individuals with Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) , AAAAI. 2015. Skin Care Tips for Individuals with Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) , AAAAI. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/skin-care-tips-atopic-dermatits.aspx. [Accessed 29 December 2015].

[2]. Textile contact dermatitis. DermNet NZ. 2015. Textile contact dermatitis. DermNet NZ. [ONLINE] Available at: http://dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/textile-dermatitis.html. [Accessed 29 December 2015].

[3]. Fragrance & perfume contact allergy. DermNet NZ. 2015. Fragrance & perfume contact allergy. DermNet NZ. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/fragrance-allergy.html. [Accessed 29 December 2015].

[4]. Skin reactions related to hand hygiene - WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care - NCBI Bookshelf. 2015. Skin reactions related to hand hygiene - WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care - NCBI Bookshelf. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144008/. [Accessed 29 December 2015].

[5]. Household Chemicals Chart: What’s in my House? 2015. Household Chemicals Chart: What’s in my House? [ONLINE] Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/healthy_living/hic_Steps_to_Staying_Well/hic_Household_Chemicals_Chart_Whats_in_my_House. [Accessed 29 December 2015].


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