Written By Anita Ginsburg / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Eczema, medically termed "atopic dermatitis," is a common condition that causes dry, itchy, red skin. It affects more than 30 million Americans, occurring most frequently in children.
Normally, the skin moisturizes itself through homeostasis to prevent reactions to the allergens and other particles in the environment. For those with eczema, though, that protection does not exist and skin irritation occurs. Many common household items can trigger eczema. Here are the worst offenders.
Conventional detergents such as Tide and other leading brands are chock full of skin irritants in the form of fragrances and cleaning chemicals that can be catastrophic for eczema symptoms. If you notice a worsening of symptoms upon putting on your favorite shirt after a wash, then you should consider using an alternative detergent.
In addition to the detergent used for washing clothes, the type of fabric in the clothes that you buy can also have an impact on eczema symptoms. Bamboo, silk, and cotton are most recommended for eczema patients to minimize the possibility of adverse reactions caused by clothing. Those with eczema should try to avoid clothes woven from materials such as polyester, wool, and nylon.
When you have itchy skin, you likely turn to topical solutions. Unfortunately, many creams, moisturizers, and lotions can actually worsen eczema symptoms in some people as can makeup and other products. As with laundry detergents, the primary culprits are often the scents added to these products.
Airborne allergens - like pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust - get a lot of attention, and considering that they can cause debilitating and even fatal reactions in those with allergies, that attention is warranted. However, if you don’t have allergies, you might not think this affects you.
However, these allergens can cause eczema flare ups. It’s a good idea to thoroughly clean your home of these unwanted contaminants. Consider installing an air purifier because it can do wonders for reversing eczema symptoms. Also, on days when the pollen counts in your area are high, try to stay indoors and keep the windows closed as much as possible.
Given some of the other eczema triggers discussed here, it's tempting to reach for the mop or rag and get to work cleaning your home. But not so fast - it's possible that your cleaning supplies themselves might be adding to the eczema issue rather than correcting it.
Specifically, focus on eliminating household cleaning products that contain formaldehyde, a known contributor to eczema flare-ups. Other harsh chemicals can also do a lot of damage. When you’re cleaning, it’s a good idea to wear gloves, just in case.
As everyone is affected differently by different products, you may want to talk to your professionals at a dermatology office to figure out which cosmetic, topical, or cleaning products will work best for you and what fabrics you’ll be comfortable in. Your dermatologist will likely be your most important resource for handling your eczema.
Eczema isn’t easy to deal with, especially as there are so many triggers that are likely all around you. If you have eczema, avoid these triggers as much as possible or replace them altogether with alternative products that are less likely to produce eczema-related skin irritation.
Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.