How to Prevent Detergent Allergy?

Do the clothes just out of the laundry make you itch? If your answer is yes, you might be suffering from detergent allergy. Detergent allergy, in most cases, is caused due to the fragrance present in the detergent. Dyes, phosphates can also cause an allergy. If you suspect allergy to your detergent, you can try switching to another detergent or try a milder form of detergent.

Sometimes, a skin reaction to detergent might not be a true allergic reaction (where the immune system is involved).It can be irritant contact where the skin reacts to the chemical in the detergent.

Symptoms of Detergent Allergy

Usually allergic symptoms appear as you are exposed to the allergen that is detergent. Sometimes symptoms develop after a day or two after exposing to the allergen. Detergent allergy symptoms develop when the immune system considers the detergent component as a harmful substance and release several antibodies such as histamines. Thus, the body produces inflammatory symptoms such that the allergens may be prevented. Basically detergent allergy is a type of skin allergy. Hence, main symptoms are noticed on the surface of the skin. Following are some of the signs and symptoms of detergent allergy.

• You may experience itching sensation in those parts that are exposed to detergent. This means that itchiness is localized to those parts where the clothes come in contact with your skin.
• You may also experience irritation on the hands if you used it.
• Your skin may also become dry and scaly.
• If the skin is exposed to the allergen continuously, it may trigger skin inflammation.
• Detergent allergy can be identified by the reddening of the skin and eruptions on the skin due to allergic rashes.
• The skin rashes may cause burning or stinging sensation and are very tender to touch.
• Slowly these rashes develop into the fluid filled blisters which ooze out.
• The skin may break and crust is formed on the surface.
• Rashes may worsen if the skin is exposed to the sunlight.
• If the detergent goes into the eyes while using it, it may irritate the mucus membranes resulting in itchy and red eyes. Later, it may result in allergic conjunctivitis which causes watery discharge from your eyes.
• Sometimes, the respiratory system gets afflicted by the detergent fumes and you will observe the symptoms such as wheezing, nasal congestion and runny nose.

Preventing Detergent Allergy

Here are a few ways to prevent detergent allergy:
• Switch to another detergent
• Use a milder / gentler detergents or fragrance-free detergents. You can also use hypo-allergenic detergents which are specifically made for those with allergy
• Put on gloves while hand washing your clothes
• Rinse your clothes twice to get rid of the detergent residue. In this way, you would be less likely to develop allergy

Detergent Allergy Treatment

If you are allergic to detergent, you must consult the allergist for the treatment. Following are some treatment options for detergent allergy.
• Initially, the medical practitioner may give treatment to relieve the annoying symptoms of detergent allergy. For topical application, the doctor may prescribe antihistamines.
• If the skin rashes are severe, corticosteroid skin creams are prescribed for reducing the skin inflammation. Along with these, oral histamines are also prescribed by the allergist.
• In order to give relief from skin irritation, calamine lotion is prescribed by the allergist.
• The best home treatment for stinging skin rashes is the cold compression. You must apply cold compression for about 20 minutes. Wrap ice cubes in a clean towel and gently apply it on the rashes.

If you are experiencing the allergic symptoms very frequently, you need proper diagnosis. It is difficult to identify the detergent allergy. The symptoms may not develop immediately after using the detergent. In most cases, people observed that they did not experience any allergic reactions for several years but they develop symptoms now. The doctor suggests skin patch allergy test to detect the allergen. Here the trace allergens are introduced into the skin. Skin rashes or bumps appear on the surface if you are allergic to it. After identifying the allergen, you are advised to avoid the allergic reaction.

Allergic reaction to detergent is not a severe health condition and does not trigger any life threatening condition such as other allergies. In order to prevent recurring symptoms, you must prevent the condition. Hypoallergenic detergents are the best option as they are formulated for allergy prone skin. It is always best to wear gloves when you are using detergents. It is best to rinse the clothes twice to make sure that the detergent is completely eliminated from clothes.

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