Most of our household cleaning products are filled with chemicals. If you take the total of it all, from detergents and bathroom cleaners to floor cleaners, they are all made with chemicals. If you use them continuously, they can cause many adverse reactions in the skin. If a person has sensitive skin and is at risk for eczema, they have to be careful about the products they use.
You have to know what goes into making these products if they contain chemicals or allergens that can trigger eczema. Eczema has no cure now, and you should avoid triggers both internal and external as much as possible to prevent an attack.
- Verify labels
Note down the chemicals that trigger eczema. Check the labels of your detergent. It can be tough as no law or regulation mandates companies to declare every single ingredient on the labels. Other websites do research and publish the list of ingredients in popular household cleaning products. You can refer them to find out which product is good for you and your family.
- Look for certifications
See if the products have the ‘Seal of Acceptance’ from NPF and NEA that certifies safe products. You can buy those certified products without any fear.
- Trial and elimination
Buy small sachets of the detergent you want to test, and wait for any triggers. It could be time-consuming and frustrating, but you will be able to get the right one over time.
- Liquid Soap
Change over to liquid soap as they leave much less residue compared to detergent powders.
- Go green
They are expensive, but considering the long-term implications of eczema, it would be a safer option. Detergents are a combination of multiple chemicals that do their part in removing the dirt, keeping them bright, adding shine, and adding fragrances. Some of the common chemical components of detergents are:
This synthetic preservative is found in several household products and has been linked to allergies and lung and neurotoxicity. It could be harmful to infants with eczema and could trigger allergic reactions in adults too.
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS)
This is a chemical that causes foaming in our detergents. SLS can cause skin irritation and is a trigger for eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Bleach is an optical brightening agent that causes white clothes to look whiter by converting UV light to visible light. Bleach can cause allergic reactions when it is exposed to our skin.
Benzene-based surfactants are found in laundry detergents. Once the clothes are dry, the benzene is emitted into the household air and could irritate our skin, nose, and eyes. Irritation in the skin is a direct trigger for eczema.
- Artificial fragrances
Would you believe that to infuse the fragrance of lavender, or any other such essence, 1000s of chemicals are used, many of which are derived from petroleum products. They could trigger skin problems and eczema.
It helps to soften the hard water for better washing. One of the most common phosphates used in detergent is sodium tripolyphosphate. Phosphates have been banned in many American states for the damage it causes when it mixes with water bodies.
- Other chemicals
Other chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonium sulfate, dioxane, ammonium quaternary sanitizers, nonylphenol ethoxylates, and benzyl acetate, too, can cause considerable damage to the skin, lungs, and even nerves.