It’s pretty safe to say that most people who have a skin condition try their best to get rid of it, especially in the summer months. Let’s say you have tried all the creams, gels, shampoos, etc. in the world to combat your eczema or psoriasis but you still notice that you get flare-ups on your hands. It doesn’t make any sense since you are following all the rules and using all the products you are supposed to. But, have you ever thought of checking the ingredients in your dish soap?
In our article “Foods that Help and Hurt Psoriasis & Eczema” we talked about how eating certain foods can lead to a flare up and there are some ingredients in everyday products that are no different. Having a skin condition means that our skin is significantly more sensitive than someone who doesn’t, so in these cases we have to be the ones to educate ourselves the best way that we can. The only problem with this is there are so many ingredients in a majority of our products; it’s hard to know which ones could be the culprit. But don’t worry! We have hunted down some of the main ones to look out for to ease your mind.
Neomycin Sulfate, this ingredient can be found in antibiotic creams and is meant to help signal your immune system to fight an infection, but it is also a known allergen that can be too harsh for sensitive skin.
Fragrances, is one of those more common ones. The NEA (National Eczema Association) reported that 8%-15% of people with eczema have an allergy to fragrances. But don’t feel bad! Fragrance also leads to about 40% of allergic reactions from cosmetics for people without skin conditions.
Benzalkonium chloride, is in moisturizers and even some eczema creams as a preservative but has been found to correlate with various forms of irritation.
Formaldehyde, is another commonly known irritant and toxin, but this one is harder to stay away from. It can be found in building materials, fertilizers, pesticides, cosmetics, cleaning liquids, gas burning appliances, and cigarettes. A large exposure to this can lead to great skin irritation.
Propylene glycol, is a synthetic liquid that absorbs water. It is found in products that require certain moisture levels. It has been found in the production of polyester, medicines, in some foods as an antifreeze agent, and in the fake smoke in smoke machines. Some people may experience an allergic reaction to propylene glycol including mild skin irritation and redness. Usually, this subsides in a short period of time after the body has had time to break down the compound. If exposed to the eyes and facial area, propylene glycol can also be an irritant and cause mild conjunctivitis.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCIT)/methylisothiazolinone (MIT) are cosmetic preservatives responsible for rising skin irritation. They are commonly found in cosmetics, bath products, hair dyes, skin creams, paints, and glues.
Small amounts of any of these ingredients are okay if you don’t have a direct allergy to them so there is no need to completely stress out about all the ingredients in your household products. However, finding good alternatives couldn’t hurt either!