Science | Nov 08
What is eczema? Well, simply put, eczema is a is a group of diseases that result in inflammation of the skin. These diseases are characterized by itchiness, red skin, and even rashes. These appear in different parts of the body and the inflammations can last from days to months. Eczema can last for the most part of a person’s life, with varying periods of breakouts/clearing. These breakouts can be triggered by many different causes, including the weather, stress, and, yes, the chemicals or substances that come into contact with the person’s body. Even though some of these can’t be controlled, like the weather, people with eczema can control which chemicals and substances their body comes into contact with.
One of the substances that a person’s skin comes into contact the most is the laundry detergent that they use to wash their clothes. Since most detergents leave a bothersome residue on your clothes after the washing cycle (including brighteners), a person’s skin is in constant contact with whatever chemicals are in the detergent’s formula. So if a person with eczema is sensitive to a chemical in the detergent’s formula, it may trigger their eczema.
It’s for this reason that organic, scent free laundry detergent is recommended for people with sensitive skin. Less harmful chemicals in your detergent mean less harmful chemicals in your clothes and skin. There are many alternatives you can find out there on what the best laundry detergent alternatives for eczema may be. For example, you could make your DIY natural laundry detergent using grated soap, vinegar, washing soda, and/or baking soda. In fact, we have two recipes for homemade laundry detergent here! Another option is buying a non toxic or organic laundry detergent like All Free Clear detergent or any of the other options that you may find in your nearest grocery store. It’s important that you make sure that it’s a gentle, hypoallergenic, free of dyes and unscented laundry detergent.
The National Eczema Organization puts forth several recommendations for laundry care for people with eczema and sensitive skin. Some of these include: using your machine’s second or “extra rinse” setting, washing new fabrics before the first use, washing everything that your baby comes into contact with before the first use, and choosing a gentle laundry detergent. Although following these recommendations, and even using homemade soap to wash your clothes, will not completely get rid of eczema breakouts (as we said before, there are many different triggers), they will get rid of laundry detergent triggers, which may mean less severe breakouts.
Remember that harmful chemicals may be hiding in everything that you have been washing in a laundry machine: bedding, towels, clothes, baby clothes, etc. Making the switch to natural living may seem like a big step, and a huge change, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply by changing your regular, leading brand laundry detergent to a natural laundry detergent, you can make a big change in both your health and for the environment. Just look at all the benefits of using a natural laundry detergent here.
So now you know. If you or anyone in your family are suffering from eczema or dermatitis, you should consider making some changes in the chemicals that come into contact with your skin, mainly your laundry detergent. We may think laundry detergent is such a small part of our lives, but in reality it’s one of the chemical formulas which affect our bodies the most. We wake up in bedding washed with laundry detergent, then dress ourselves with clothes washed with laundry detergent and leave them on our bodies the entirety of the day. Making the change to a gentle, safe, non toxic detergent is the way to go. If you don’t believe us, hear it from the people that already tried a great non toxic detergent!