People with eczematous skin, run the risk of experiencing allergic reactions to laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets and certain fabrics. Contact with these allergens can exacerbate the condition. Below are nine laundry tips to help you to avoid this nuisance!
- Wash new clothes: There are fabric finishes and dyes that can cause skin irritation on articles of new clothing. It is important to always run new clothes through the wash before wearing them.
- Measure soap: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is recommended that you stick to the guidelines on the label of the detergent. Do not use more than required for laundering clothes.
- Use free and clear detergents: Look for laundry soaps that are free of harmful chemicals, toxins, allergens and known skin irritants, including: surfactants, enzymes, bleach, fragrances, preservatives, metals, sulfates and dyes.
- Run smaller loads: Don’t overcrowd your machine with large washes. This can create an issue with proper dissolving of laundry soap.
- Avoid fabric softeners: Fabric softeners contain surfactants. In addition, they often contain harmful
fragrances, dyes and preservatives. Avoid using fabric softeners as they can exacerbate eczema.
- Hand wash clothing with care: Wear non-latex, disposable gloves when hand washing garments. Be mindful that the detergent is measured precisely and properly dissolved. Rinse thoroughly.
- Skip dryer sheets: Dryer sheets are a known skin irritant that triggers eczema flares. Avoid their use altogether.
- Do not starch clothing: Spray starch can stiffen your clothes. This causes friction which can make eczema symptoms worsen.
- Wear calming fabrics: Loose fitting garments made of cotton, silk, rayon and linen fabrics are best for eczematous and sensitive skin. Avoid irritating fabrics such as wool and polyester.
Everyone’s skin reacts differently to certain allergens and chemicals. If you are experiencing an allergic reaction to laundry soap, the symptoms may include: hives, redness, stinging, burning, itching and rashes. According to the National Eczema Association, All Free and Clear Detergent is hypoallergenic and free of harmful dyes and fragrances. There are several choices on the market that are formulated similarly. Find which detergent works best with your skin and discontinue use of those that irritate the skin. For a more detailed list of skin irritants, please visit our toxins and allergens page.