With our clothes being washed and cleaned more than ever, what affect does this have on our skin? Discomfort such as skin sensitivity or itchiness that occurs when your skin comes into contact with clothes that have been freshly washed and could be related to dyes or fragrances in your laundry detergent or other laundry products like fabric softeners
“If my mother noticed an allergic reaction, rash or if I complained of itchiness, the first thing she always would ask is, “have you changed laundry detergent or are you using a different soap,” says Elizabeth Mullans, M.D. board-certified dermatologist and founder of Uptown Dermatology. “She was on the right track, as it’s important to a find out what’s causing your allergy so you can stop touching (or using) what’s causing the itchy skin, and you may need to consult a dermatologist or an allergist.”
Symptoms of skin irritation could include:
- Skin redness
- Dry, scaly or cracked skin
- Burning, stinging or itching
- Sun sensitivity
- Discomfort such as skin sensitivity or itchiness that occurs when your skin comes into contact with clothes that have been freshly washed and could be related to dyes or fragrances in your laundry detergent or other laundry products like fabric softeners.
To help soothe itchy skin, try the following tips from Dr Mullans:
- Apply a wet cloth after being immersed in a bowl of ice filled with water every 10-minutes until the itch subsides.
- Moisturize your skin with “unscented” cream free of additives, fragrances and perfumes.
- Menthol or calamine acts like cooling agents. Alternatively, store your moisturizer in the refrigerator to achieve a cooling effect.
- Use “Fragrance-free” lotions, soaps and detergents.
- Wear cotton loose-fitting clothes. Wool and other rough-feeling fabrics can irritate your skin, causing itching.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes. Maintain a relatively cool, neutral humidity environment in your house. Use a humidifier during winter if you are prone to dry skin and eczema.
- Use hypoallergenic, fragrance and dye free, Arm and Hammer’s Sensitive Skin Free & Clear detergent specifically formulated by dermatologists for sensitive skin to avoid irritation or worry of itchiness altogether.
- Reduce stress, as stress can make your itch worse.
“Seek help from your health care provider to discover the root cause of your itch and if it doesn’t go away with the tips above,” adds Mullans.