If you have an itchy rash, swelling or sores on numerous areas of your skin, you may be allergic to the chemicals in your laundry detergent. While laundry detergent chemicals don’t have an adverse effect on everyone, some people deal with this issue every day. Read on to learn why some people have allergic reactions to their laundry detergent and what can be done to prevent it.
Laundry Detergent Chemicals That Cause Allergic Reactions
A laundry detergent allergic reaction occurs when a person’s skin comes into contact with clothing or other items that have been washed in certain types of laundry detergent. One of the most common types of chemical compounds found in laundry detergents, that can cause an allergic reaction, are called surfactants. These suspension chemicals are added to detergents to break down soils so they can be flushed out with the rinse water. They’re also included to make the detergent foam up during the washing process. Other chemicals, called optical brighteners, are added to enhance the brightness of the laundry. Some detergents also contain chlorine bleach, which helps to deodorize and disinfect. Fragrances, which can also cause allergic reactions, are often used to disguise the odour of other chemicals in the detergent.
Types Of Allergic Reactions To Laundry Detergent Chemicals
There are two types of allergic reactions that can occur in people who have sensitivities to laundry detergent. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the chemicals in the detergent touch the skin and cause irritation. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to irritating chemicals. The symptoms of irritant contact dermatitis, as stated by the Cleveland Clinic, include swelling, blisters, and extremely dry skin, As this skin condition worsens, it can cause the skin to crack and even cause open sores to form. People who have allergic contact dermatitis may experience similar symptoms, as well as red patches on the skin, oozing blisters, burning sores, itching, swelling and sensitivity to sunlight. When one or more of these symptoms occur in areas where clothing is in contact with the body, laundry detergent is usually the culprit.
Preventing The Immune System From Triggering Allergic Reactions
The body’s immune system protects us from diseases, viruses and harmful substances by producing antibodies to fight off these predators. When some people come into contact with the chemical ingredients found in some laundry detergents, these antibodies are stimulated. This reaction causes the antibodies to travel to various cells in the body, which causes the symptoms associated with allergic contact dermatitis. To prevent the immune system from triggering an allergic reaction, carefully read the ingredient list on laundry detergents before purchasing. Natural and hypoallergenic detergents are very popular choices for those who have skin sensitivities. Buying unscented detergent is another option to prevent allergic reactions from fragrances and other chemicals that are often found in laundry detergents.
Having an allergic reaction to laundry detergent is a serious problem that’s not uncommon. Many people try various brands before they find one that doesn’t cause them to have skin issues. Choosing a laundry detergent that’s free of chemicals is often the answer to this serious problem.