Do I have dish soap allergy?

There are some individuals who end up with the inflammation of the skin due to exposure to any type of dish soap which is called as contact dermatitis. This skin condition is divided in two distinct forms – allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis. If the individual experiences mouth swelling along with other allergy symptoms upon exposure to dish soap, the individual is likely to suffer from allergic contact dermatitis.

How the condition develops

Allergic contact dermatitis develops as a result of a hypersensitivity reaction triggered by the immune system. The initial phase of the condition is called as the sensitization phase. During this phase, the allergen present in dish soap penetrates the skin and attaches to the specific immune cells or Langerhan’s cells which transport the allergen to the lymph nodes. At this phase, the T-lymphocytes generate cells that cultivate a memory for the allergen. The sensitization process only occurs once and does not produce other physical symptoms.

Dish soap allergy

During a severe allergic contact dermatitis, it can lead to swelling of the mouth and throat which is known as angioedema.

The second phase that occurs next is known as the elicitation phase. Once the individual is exposed again to the chemical present in dish soap, the T-lymphocytes start to multiply and the inflammatory process starts. The inflammation pulls the T-lymphocytes to the surface of the skin, thus triggering the visual allergic response.

What are the normal symptoms?

The present of the T-lymphocytes at the surface of the skin can lead to itchiness, swelling and redness as well as development of small-sized blisters. As the allergic reaction progresses, the individual can develop hives and the skin can become thick and scaly.

Swelling of the mouth

During a severe allergic contact dermatitis, it can lead to swelling of the mouth and throat which is known as angioedema. When it comes to an inflammatory process, the body produces chemicals known as histamines which trigger the blood vessels to swell. In case the blood vessels swell excessively, it can disrupt with the breathing process and even leading to death. If the individual suffers from swelling in the mouth after being exposed to dish soap, emergency medical care must be provided.

Important considerations to bear in mind

Always bear in mind that allergic contact dermatitis can be related to a specific chemical or group of chemicals that have similar characteristics. When it comes to dish soap, they are often added with fragrances that can easily elicit an allergic reaction in some individuals. You can prepare yourself to handle this type of allergy if a family member experiences one by enrolling in a first aid course today.

The best way to minimize the risk for allergic contact dermatitis is to opt for dish soaps that are free from fragrances. Soaps that are labelled as hypoallergenic and unscented might still contain minimal traces of fragrances. Additionally, it is best that the individual will wear rubber gloves when dish soap is being used.