Cleaning & Laundry options for skin sensitivities
Eczema is a common problem, particularly amongst children and rates appear to be on the rise. In the UK, 1 in 5 children and 1 in 12 adults have eczema. It can be very debilitating. The National Eczema Society are a charity working hard to make life easier for sufferers and spreading awareness of the issue.
As part of their activity, they have published a number of factsheets. Some people believe that having a house TOO clean could be contributing to the problem. Many household cleaners can irritate sufferers, particularly those with irritant contact dermatitis (ICD). However, the advice from the charity is as follows:
"If you are sensitve to regular cleaning products, try using ‘old fashioned’ agents – white vinegar (as an alternative to a proprietary glass cleaner), bicarbonate of soda (as an alternative to bleach) and soda crystals (as an alternative to bathroom/kitchen cleaners) – as they do not contain added chemicals and preservatives."
Of course, it's not strictly true to say they don't contain chemicals, because ALL cleaning products are a chemical, but it's certainly true that they contain no common allergen triggers such as fragrances or preservatives.
You can download a factsheet on eczema and household irritants.
Laundry is another issue for people with skin sensitivities. Here is a very interesting article from a lady who went to great lengths to relieve her son's suffering from eczema. It details the decline of soap and the rise of detergents. She states that detergents can affect skin permeability. Babies' skin is very delicate so you may want to follow similar advice if the skin is dry, red or irritated.
Don't forget that our Liquid Soap Flakes are ideal for people with eczema as they contain no fragrances or preservatives. Of course, you can wash your clothes in them (including in the washing machine), but some even use them as shower gel and hand wash. That's in addition for general cleaning purposes, including wooden floors and leather. Here's what one reviewer said.
You may also want to use Soda Crystals or Soda Crystals Laundry Boost in conjunction with Liquid Soap, especially if you use emollients as they will be effective at removing the greasy residue from clothing. You should also consider swapping your fabric conditioner for white vinegar, which will ensure that any residue and hard water minerals are removed in the final rinse.