Anyone who has ever suffered from Eczema, Psoriasis or Dermatitis knows how quickly the cost of doctors, specialists, lotions and potions can add up to a small fortune. Here’re 5 triggers to eliminate from the home environment that can help you stop the rash before it starts:
- Bubbles and washes
Many body washes, hand washes, bubble baths, shampoos and dishwashing liquids contain soap and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS, a known skin irritant that is often used to make bubbles). Both soap and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) will de-grease your skin. This involves the removal of the fatty acid layer of protective oils on the skin (acid mantle), taking away the skin’s natural protection and leaving it exposed to other potentially harsh and toxic chemicals in these products, as well as the environment.
For a safe alternative to soap, click here.
For a skin friendly dishwashing liquid, click here.
For suitable alternatives for kids wash and bubble baths, click here.
- Greasy Moisturisers
I love a good moisturiser as much as the next person but I have never been a fan of feeling like an oil slick. Particularly where eczema is concerned, my experience has been that greasy moisturisers can make things worse. My skin likes to breathe and my eczema clears up when it can. Also, application of greasy moisturisers over an extended period, can lead eventually to skin deciding it doesn’t need to make its own protective oils anymore because that’s already covered (literally). So these oils can interfere with and potentially even break the skin’s own self defense system.
To see what I use, visit here.
- Antibacterial Gel
Personally, I am a big fan of germs. We live in a society where people are very concerned about getting rid of them. I think washing hands should be enough. However, there are times when I can’t get to a tap and there are also plenty of people out there who don’t agree with me. So anti-bac gels exist. The drying agent in these (so you don’t need a towel) is alcohol which also strips the skin and leaves it dry.
- Cleaning Products
If you bath, and you clean your bath with bleach, you are essentially bathing in bleach residue. If you shower, you may be standing in bleach residue or any other number of toxic chemical products (depending on what you use to clean with). Your babies and pets are touching your floor cleaner residue. Your hands and arms are touching your bench/table cleaner residue….you get the idea. And if you think stuff can’t be absorbed through your skin, check out how morphine can deliver a whole day’s worth of pain relief in one tiny, convenient wearable patch! Granted, not everything absorbs through your skin, but plenty of stuff does. And if you have just showered with soap you may have washed away your body’s first line of defence.
To see my favourite non-toxic cleaning products, click here.
- Laundry Powder
This is a biggie and the right products can make a MASSIVE difference. Supermarket laundry products are full of exciting things like chlorine, bleach, fillers & extenders. Fillers and extenders are included to dilute down the active ingredients, the laundry product equivalent of watering something down. They can be up to 60% of what you’re paying for and there’s no regulation around what’s used. Often it’s stuff that doesn’t dissolve.
These little undissolved particles get stuck in your fabrics and irritate. When you sweat (like in the creases of your elbows and knees) or wet any fabric you are touching, they crystallise and irritate even more. Consider that you are touching clothes, sheets, towels, pillow cases, and so on all the time. And if you have just showered with soap or SLS and washed away your skin’s first line of defence, you may particularly susceptible to irritation.
To see the only effective laundry power I have found without the nasties, click here.
If you want to learn more about external triggers of skin irritations, you may find my book helpful. You can download your copy here.