Lifestyle Fashion

The truth about the impact of laundry detergent on eczema

Eczema is a skin condition characterized by red, swollen, itchy patches that appear in response to a number of triggers.

In addition to practicing good skin care, you need to monitor these triggers to find out which ones cause reactions. Believe it or not, anything from pollutants in the air to chemicals in your laundry detergent can cause your skin to flare up.

While you may not be able to control triggers you encounter in public, you can make changes to the products you use at home to reduce flare-ups.

Eczema and laundry detergent: an itchy problem

Although many studies show that reactions to laundry detergents are rare at normal levels of exposure, the chemicals tend to build up in fabric over time.

This creates a cycle of repeated exposure that can cause irritation, especially in babies and children whose skin is more sensitive.

The cocktail of chemicals and enzymes found in most commercial detergents is helpful in breaking down dirt and removing stains from clothing, but it’s by no means the only way to keep your family’s wardrobe clean.

Scented laundry detergents can be especially troublesome for eczema sufferers, so it’s best to look for alternatives that use more natural ingredients.

Choosing a detergent

When selecting a laundry detergent for eczema, look for these items to reduce chemical exposure and related irritation:

  • Plant-based or plant-based ingredients

  • without enzymes

  • Unscented instead of unscented.

  • Hypoallergenic

  • neutral pH

  • dye free

  • Child-friendly and baby-safe.

An added bonus to buying these products is that many are biodegradable and not tested on animals, making them good for the environment and your skin.

The correct way to wash clothes

Regardless of the detergent you use, it is important that you follow the proper washing instructions to ensure that your clothes are not only clean, but also free of any type of residue that could cause an eczema flare-up.

Read the bottle on your chosen natural detergent and follow the instructions on how much to use in different size loads. Check your washing machine to make sure you are not overloading it and that you select the correct cycle for the amount of clothes you are washing. This ensures that all clothes are left clean without retaining excess soap. For added insurance against irritation, run an additional rinse cycle at the end of the clean.

It is important to put all clothing, including new items, through this type of careful wash cycle before wearing them. New clothing often has chemical residue on the fabric and may contain other environmental contaminants from packaging, shipping, and just sitting on store shelves.

After switching to a new detergent, it may take a few wash cycles to remove all of the old soap that has built up on the fabric. If you find that your skin is still irritated even though you are using a natural product, wash your clothes again, making sure to rinse them well.

reduce irritation

Changing laundry detergents will only help your eczema if you choose clothes made of soft fibers that won’t scratch, rub, or abrade your skin. Try to use 100 percent cotton whenever possible and avoid synthetics and itchy fibers like wool or hemp. Look for tagless brands and check seams for rough edges before you buy.

Choosing these types of clothes and switching to natural, plant-based laundry detergents can help you and your family alleviate eczema and related irritation. Focus on gentle products made with ingredients that aren’t created in labs to find the safest products, and keep an eye out for any other chemicals in your home that can trigger skin reactions.