A laundry detergent rash usually arises as a reddened, itchy rash that might be limited to a site or widespread. An allergy or sensitivity to laundry detergent can arise upon using one for the first time or after repeated use. The rashes can be prevented by variants that are free from fragrances and dyes.
What are the usual causes?
- Allergens – laundry detergents include various irritating ingredients such as surfactants, artificial fragrances, parabens, preservatives, dyes and emulsifiers.
- Contact dermatitis – this is a skin condition triggered by exposure to certain substances.
What are the signs?
If an individual is allergic or sensitive to one of the ingredients in laundry detergent, symptoms might arise right after exposure to newly washed clothes or several hours after.
The usual signs might include:
- Reddened rash
- Swollen and tender skin
- Burning sensation
- Mild to severe itchiness
- Blisters that might ooze or crust over
- Dry, cracked or scaly skin
Management of laundry detergent rash
In most cases, a laundry detergent rash can be managed at home with simple measures. If the individual is allergic or highly sensitive to an irritant, it is vital to identify it so that it can be avoided.
Some of the measures to lessen the symptoms include:
- Application of a steroid cream – a cream that contains 1% hydrocortisone can lessen the inflammation and itchiness
- Apply an anti-itch lotion – calamine lotion can help soothe the skin and lessen the urge to scratch
- Oatmeal bath – this can lessen the itchiness as well as soothe the inflamed skin
- Antihistamines – these drugs can stop an allergic reaction
- Cold compress – a towel immersed in cool water can soothe the inflamed skin and lessen the tenderness