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Common Household Skin Irritants to Avoid

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Common Household Skin Irritants to Avoid

By Steve Graham,

The skin is the largest human organ, and it does a pretty good job of protecting us from infections, damage, dehydration and overheating. However, we forget often that it is also a fairly sensitive set of living cells, and we expose it to chemicals and other irritants.

Skin can exhibit allergic reactions to a wide range of standard household products, from clothing to jewelry. Such allergies may also develop over time after repeated exposure to the substance. Here are a few common household skin irritants:

Cleaning Can Be Irritating

Cleaning products, particularly cleaning solvents, cause contact dermatitis reactions. This means the skin reacts to the material, but the reaction is not technically caused by allergies. However, resistance to household irritants can wear down over time if you expose skin to a lot of these products.

Soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, drain cleaners and nail polish removers can all contain harsh chemicals that irritate the skin and cause red, dry, cracked skin, mild swelling and blisters.

The now-ubiquitous hand sanitizer is another culprit. Germophobes who squirt on sanitizer at every turn may be drying out and irritating their skin with ethyl alcohol and other ingredients.

Dermatologists also urge caution with eye cosmetics, hair-removal products, antiperspirants and facial creams. Never try to hide reactions to eyeliner or other products with more cosmetics. They may cause further problems.

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Read more: Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Green Home Decor, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, Materials & Architecture, Non-Toxic Cleaning

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4:34PM PDT on Jun 7, 2011


12:31AM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

Noted. Thanks!

7:48PM PDT on May 16, 2011

thanks for sharing :)

6:10AM PDT on May 15, 2011

Thank you for the very informative article. Now if only we could convince the big companies to label all their products properly and completely then we'd be halfway towards avoiding all these harmful chemicals.

12:07PM PDT on May 14, 2011


9:07AM PDT on May 12, 2011

I enjoyed reading this, thank you.

7:27AM PDT on May 10, 2011


6:31AM PDT on May 9, 2011

It's amazing how many people are allergic to perfume and makeup.
I think that it is silly to wear that stuff because it doesn't tend to look good or smell good. I prefer the natural look!

11:10PM PDT on May 8, 2011

thanks for the info!

12:44PM PDT on May 8, 2011

As Alan Sherman sang:
" Skin is what you feel at home in and without it, furthermore,
Both your liver and abdomen
Would keep falling on the floor,
Nothing can match it when you scratch it"

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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