By Steve Graham, Hometalk.com
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.