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Can Laundry Detergent Cause Allergies

When To See A Doctor

How do laundry detergents cause rashes?

Beyond basic at-home care, your doctor may also recommend oral or topical medication to reduce symptoms and clear up a rash. If the rash associated with contact dermatitis is particularly widespread or doesnt disappear quickly, an oral or injected steroid may be prescribed to temporarily suppress the immune system and calm the reaction.

Symptoms Of A Laundry Detergent Allergy

Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction to laundry soap include a rash, such as breaking out into hives like the picture at the top shows.

Additional symptoms can include sneezing or itchy water eyes, particularly if you are allergic to the scent of the product.

Finally, a laundry detergent allergy can have more subtle symptoms than those listed above, such as tightness in your skin, other rash, and itching, even after showering and applying moisturizer.

Generally these symptoms are exacerbated more in the cold winter months too, because of less moisture in your skin.

Nonylphenols Nonylphenol Ethoxylates & Nonoxynols

Often found in detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and scent boosters, NP, NPEs, and Nonoxynols are the most widely used members of the larger alkylphenol and alkylphenol ethoxylate family of non-ionic surfactants. They are produced in large volumes, leading to widespread release to human contact and in the ocean.

NP has been found to be persistent in the aquatic environment and is highly toxic to aquatic life. NP’s main use is in the manufacture of NPEs. NPEs are used in a wide variety of industrial applications and consumer products. NP has been detected in human breast milk, blood, and urine and is associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents.

NPEs are widely used in large quantities in big brand laundry detergents, personal hygiene, automotive, latex paints, and lawn care products, that lead to releases to Earths waters.

NPEs can enter the body by inhalation of air containing clothes dryer exhaust, ingestion of contaminated food or water, or by dermal contact with products containing nonylphenol ethoxylate. Many are carcinogens or endocrine/hormone disruptors, capable of causing allergic reactions, skin rashes, cancer, and asthma or other respiratory issues.

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Consider Adding In An Extra Rinse Cycle

Modern washing machines usually have the option to add an extra rinse cycle to your wash. Utilising this as part of your regular laundry routine will ensure as much laundry detergent as possible is removed from clothing reducing the risk of skin irritation. For more tips and tricks, we have a comprehensive guide to doing your laundry like a pro right here.

Can You Be Allergic To Clothes

Signs Youre Allergic to Laundry Detergent  Skin Reaction From ...

It is possible to be allergic to clothes â but your allergy could be caused by a number of different things. The main source of a fabric allergy is textile dermatitis caused by sweating inside non-breathable synthetic fibers such as polyester or nylon. However, allergic reactions could also be caused by dyes, glues and other chemicals used to tan, color and hold your clothing together.

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Do You Need To Test Laundry Detergents Before Using

You probably spend a decent amount of time doing laundry, especially if you have kids. You want to know, of course, that your detergent is getting everything as clean as possible, and that it won’t cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Once you find one that works, you’ll probably stick with that tried-and-true brand for years — if it ain’t broke, after all, there’s probably no need to fix it.

But you might unexpectedly get the urge to change one day. Maybe one of your kids has suddenly developed a rash, or perhaps you just came across a great deal on a new brand. How do you know if this new detergent is going to do a better job? Before you wash a full load of your kids’ clothes in it, should you test its cleaning power and make sure it won’t cause rashes?

Well, probably not. Testing does seem like a great way to ensure you bought the right product, but it isn’t foolproof. A cleaning-ability experiment seems fairly straightforward, but what you might think is a detergent problem could actually be an issue with your washer or water type. There are so many variables that come into play.

So, in a word, our answer is no: You don’t have to test detergent before using it. But be an educated consumer — find out the right detergent for your washer, and stay away from products with common irritants.

Avoid Allergic Reactions With Safer Detergent Options:

There are more natural, safer laundry detergent options available, but be sure to do your research when purchasing laundry detergent. Companies are not required by law to list all of their ingredients, which can make it especially difficult to know whether or not you are purchasing something safe.

The Environmental Working Group has a great resource to help you find a safe detergent. You can check it out here. I would recommend finding one with an A rating for the safest option.

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Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent is formulated specifically for sensitive skin. You won’t find any dyes, synthetic fragrances, harsh chemicals, or artificial brighteners on the ingredients list.

It’s a USDA Certified Biobased Product, meaning at least 97 percent of its plant-based ingredients are biologically renewable. The safe and effective formula is not only gentle on the skin, but it’s also good for the environment.

Allergy To Laundry Detergent: Is It Real

Allergic reaction to laundry detergent

Allergies can often be very annoying, especially if you experience them daily. Sudden itchiness under your nose, eyes, or skin can ruin your day. There are various allergic attack triggers. It can include exposure to allergens, foods high in protein, insect bites, and even medications.

One of the most common allergies is dermatitis or skin rash. Various factors can cause this. It can include old make-up, a harsh bar of soap, or even a toner you added to your nighttime routine. Yet, laundry detergent allergy is something you should not cross out.

Laundry detergents contain a high concentration of harsh chemicals and fragrances. They can pose a health hazard to susceptible household members. While laundry detergent allergy is rare, you should not take it lightly.

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Safe Ways To Reduce The Symptoms Of Detergent Allergies

  • Use steroid creams.
  • Hypoallergenic detergent for wool and delicate.

Detergent allergic contact dermatitis: a multicenter study to assess prevalence.

At present, several types of allergic contact dermatitis caused by detergents have been discovered. The symptoms usually occur in different parts of the body.

Also, one of the most common causes of such allergies caused by detergents. The continuous use of these products will bring prevalence in 10% of the population, a high incidence of the disease.

Dreft Stage : Newborn Liquid Laundry Detergent

Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Liquid Detergent is another baby-geared option that’s suitable for anyone with sensitive skin. This pediatrician-recommended, hypoallergenic laundry soap has a fresh but not overpowering scent. The natural formula includes biodegradable surfactants and enzymes for removing dirt, stains, and other messesall of which are gentle on the skin.

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Are You Allergic To Your Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent allergies are not very common, but they need to be ruled out!

The biggest confusion people have regarding laundry detergent allergies is distinguishing between allergic dermatitis or irritant dermatitis.

Both dermatitis types look similar, causing bumpy, red skin, hives, burning, itching, sensitivity, swelling, but they are triggered by different things.

Common Culprits In Your Products

13 Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergents

FRAGRANCES: When it comes to our laundry, brands have taught us to associate the cleanliness of our clothes not by how clean they look, but how clean they smell. While that âApril freshâ scent lingering in our fabrics might seem pleasant enough, it can trigger adverse reactions on our skin. By exploiting our desire for fresh-smelling clothes, laundry brands are taking scent staying power to excessive extremes, with scent boosters sometimes boasting 12 weeks of freshness and detergents proclaiming youâll be the âsubject of random sniffings.â It comes as no surprise, then, that Dr. Scheinman and Dr. Gmyrek agree fragrances are among the most common culprits causing skin irritation. A recent study on the prevalence of fragrance sensitivity found that just shy of 30 percent of US participants experienced adverse effects to the skin at the hands of scented laundry products.

PRESERVATIVES: Another likely culprit is preservatives, listed alongside fragrances and metals by the Cleveland Clinic as primary causes of contact dermatitis. More specifically, Dr. Scheinman highlights Methylisothiazolinone as a prime suspect, a synthetic chemical used as a preservative in consumer products for its antimicrobial properties, explaining that itâs the second-most common allergen in North America.

Dr. Scheinman adds that other, less common allergens in laundry detergents include coconut derivatives and propylene glycol.

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What Are The Most Common Allergens Found In Soaps And Detergents That Should Be Avoided

Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic and body care products since the 1920s. Parabens are endocrine disruptive chemicals that are absorbed into the bloodstream and skin. In addition to causing an allergic reaction on some people’s skin, they can also create hormonal imbalances that may lead to breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers like ovarian cancer

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a detergent that can be found in bar soaps and liquid hand soap. SLS can cause allergic reactions on top of being an irritant, and should therefore not be used by people with sensitive skin or those who are at risk for developing skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

Artificial Fragrances are one of the most common contact allergens used in soap. Artificial fragrances are chemicals that smell like flowers, fruit, or other pleasant scents. The ingredient fragrance is a secret blend of esters, aldehydes, alcohols, and other chemicals that give the soap its scent. Artificial fragrance is known to cause skin problems such as hives, dermatitis eczema, and other forms of skin rash.

What Are The Symptoms Of Laundry Detergent Irritation

Discomfort such as skin sensitivity or itchiness that occurs when your skin comes into contact with clothes that have been freshly washed could be related to dyes or fragrances in your laundry detergent or other laundry products like fabric softeners.

  • Sun sensitivity

If youre experiencing symptoms of sensitive skin you think may be caused by laundry detergent, consider switching to a Sensitive Free & Clear Detergent, such as ARM & HAMMER Sensitive Free & Clear.

If you suspect the problem is beyond skin sensitivity caused by laundry products, consult with your doctor to diagnose the problem and eliminate other potential causes like allergies or a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, and take steps to prevent itchy skin. Be sure to share any symptoms youre experiencing, along with the situations in which youve noticed irritation.

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Why Don’t You Buy The Best Laundry Detergent For Allergies

It’s frustrating when you can’t find the best laundry detergent for allergies to buy, and it feels like there is so much choice out there.

But finding the best laundry detergent for allergies under $50, $100, $200, $500 for your needs isn’t always easy. This blog post will explore some of the critical factors that go into making a purchase decision to help make things simpler for you.

The first thing you need to think about is what your needs are? What are you looking for in a product in 2021?

The more specific your desired features are, the easier it will be to narrow down choices. Don’t buy the best product based on name alone.

1. The best laundry detergent for allergies is not always the best for you

The best product name is not always the best for you when buying the best laundry detergent for allergies. You can be influenced by a catchy or clever name and then regret your purchase later on.

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With that being said, it’s essential to know what kind of customer you are before deciding on a specific product.

The first thing you should determine is what your budget is. It will help narrow down your options because there are many different price ranges for each product type.

Product names are often misleading. Many people will look at a product name and think that the product is what they need for their needs, but this isn’t always true.

Best Prevention Tips For Allergic Reaction To Laundry Detergent

Home Made Laundry Soap for Allergies & Asthma

Make your own detergent: You can make your own detergent by washing soda and borax. This solution is fragrance- and dye-free and can even save you money. For added cleansing power, consider adding olive oil-based castile soap.

Use fragrance and dye-free detergents: Many people are sensitive to chemicals in artificial fragrances and dyes. Try a natural alternative, such as Seventh Generation Free and Clear, which is a vegetable-based, dye-and fragrance-free detergent.

Use baking soda and vinegar: Baking soda and vinegar make a great natural cleaning solution. Use them instead of detergents or during another wash cycle.

These non-irritating products can help brighten and soften the fabric naturally.

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Wash your washing machine: If you have a family member with chemical sensitivities, make sure you wash the machine after a load using standard detergents.

A hot water cycle with baking soda and vinegar can help with machine-cleaned soap scum and chemical buildup.

Use dryer balls instead of fabric softener and dryer sheets : Cut the number of chemicals you use by skipping the fabric softener and dryer sheet. Dryer balls, usually made of wool, plastic, or rubber, can help soften clothing and reduce static without adding irritation.

Pretreat stains naturally: Avoid chemical stain remover by pretending to stain with a combination of water, soda, and baking soda.

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Why Are You Allergic To Laundry Detergent

Have you spent hours searching your grocery store in hopes of finding a detergent that will finally work for you but have been unsuccessful? Don’t feel bad we’ve all been there.

The truth is, there are a ton of harmful ingredients in laundry detergent, which is probably why detergent allergies are becoming so common. You’d think some that are safe to wash your beloved clothes and bedding would be safe for your skin, right?

Well, that’s not really the case. Yes, for most people, any detergent will work for them, but if you have sensitive skin or are allergy-prone, chances are your results are the opposite.

Laundry detergent wasn’t always so toxic. Before the 1950s, laundry detergent consisted of a few simple ingredients just enough to get your clothes cleaned! However, times have changed.

Laundry detergent used to be made of pure soap made by saponification. Saponification is a natural process that converts animal fats and lye into soap. These are natural fats, meaning they are quite harmless to humans.

During the Vietnam War, those fats were needed more urgently elsewhere soap was the last priority. This is where the creation of synthetic alternatives began. With this becoming an ultimately cheaper and more lucrative option, big soap companies never looked back.

Essentially, you aren’t allergic to soap you are probably allergic to one or more of the petrochemicals that are in your household soap, as they’re in almost all of them. However, there is hope for you.

Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is a go-to for natural, gentle cleaning and household products. The brand’s concentrated liquid laundry detergent contains plant-derived ingredients, including stain-fighting enzymes to effectively clean fabrics without irritating your skin.

This biodegradable laundry detergent has a light lavender scent, which comes from natural oils. Mrs. Meyer’s has an entire line of lavender products if you want to carry the fresh scent throughout your home.

“We havent found a Mrs. Meyers scent we dont like, but the honeysuckle fragrance is especially nice for summer use. Its a good balance between fruity and floral, and we particularly appreciate that the scent is derived from actual honeysuckle flower extract, orange peel oil, and ylang ylang flower oil.”Katie Begley, Product Tester

For a non-liquid option, consider the Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods from Grab Green. With a naturally derived ingredients list containing zero chlorine, dyes, optical brighteners, or phosphates, it’s ideal for sensitive skin.

Natural scent options include Birch Branch, Oak Tree, Olive Leaf, Rose, or Rain . The super-gentle formula carefully cleans and softens fabrics while minimizing the risk of a reaction. Plus, the pre-measured powdered pods make it easy to start a load of laundry.

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Identifying The Cause Of A Skin Rash

Your next step is identifying what caused the reaction so that you can avoid it in the future. Your doctor will want to first rule out other conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or other skin conditions, with a thorough history and physical exam.

If you believe youre experiencing contact dermatitis related to your laundry detergent, you should avoid this product and see a doctor for evaluation and treatment of your rash. You may need a referral to a dermatologist who may suggest patch testing, where skin patches containing specific allergens remain on your skin for 48 hours and then are read for a reaction. You will return in a few days for a delayed reading.

If your laundry detergent is causing your rash, it may seem obvious that youll need to stop using it. Some ingredients in detergents, such as fragrances and preservatives, are also found in many laundry and cleaning products, as well as some hairstyling products. If avoiding the laundry detergent for example does not cure your rash, further evaluation with a physician will be necessary.

Have a lingering rash or skin irritation that isnt responding to at-home care?

A Primary Care Provider at the University of Maryland Medical System can provide care for these and other skin-related conditions.


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