Dry cleaning solutions: Am I allergic?

Dry cleaning solutions rarely trigger an allergic reaction but there have been reported cases. The commonly used dry cleaning solution is perchloroethylene. Remember that the skin can become highly sensitive to the solutions after a single exposure or after several exposures.

Close look on contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is an allergic skin condition that arises if exposed to an offending substance. It is usually a delayed reaction that arises 12-72 hours after exposure of the skin. This skin reaction can trigger dry, scaly patches of skin along with redness, itchiness and dark, cracked skin with oozing blisters. The predominant indication is intense itchiness.

Take note that the skin reaction is not communicable. Generally, it settles entirely within 2-3 weeks.

dry-cleaning-solutions

Contact dermatitis is an allergic skin condition that arises if exposed to an offending substance.

What should I do?

If exposed to dry cleaning solutions, cleanse the site of contact using cold water and mild soap. Exposed clothes should be washed in hot water or discard them if washing is not possible.

The root cause of the reaction should be determined since it is likely to be triggered by a fabric-related substance other than the dry-cleaning solutions. Clothing items such has nickel, watch straps, zippers, buttons or bra hooks might trigger an allergic skin reaction in some individuals.

Management

The treatment for an allergic reaction to dry cleaning solutions is based on the symptoms that are present. A doctor should be consulted so that the ideal treatment can be starts. In most case, the treatment includes oral or topical corticosteroids, lotions or creams and antihistamine.

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