Irritant contact dermatitis? What is it, and how to avoid a rash from (or reaction to!) cleaning products

Learn how to identify common irritants in cleaning products, and how to lessen the chance of developing irritant contact dermatitis.

Cleanipedia recommends

Learn how to identify common irritants in cleaning products, and how to lessen the chance of developing irritant contact dermatitis. Using products like Neutral 0% Fabric Conditioner with low levels of these ingredients can help limit a negative reaction to cleaning products. Always remember to read the directions on the label and test in a small area first when using new products.

irritant contact dermatitis

What causes irritant contact dermatitis?

If you’ve ever experienced a burning, stinging or itching sensation after cleaning, chances are you’ve come into contact with a substance that causes irritant contact dermatitis – also called eczema. Fragrances can sometimes irritate sensitive skin, and these ingredients can be found in many household cleaning products like soaps, detergents, and disinfectants.

Who is affected?

Those with atopic eczema are most at risk, but anyone could develop a rash from cleaning products. Even weak irritants can cause problems after frequent use, so the more you clean the more you’re at risk. However, learning how to spot them on your products’ ingredients lists will help you know when to pull on a pair of gloves, or better yet, avoid them altogether.

Some common skin irritants to look out for 

These following ingredients can cause skin irritation. Keep an eye out for these substances, and try to avoid products that contain them.

  • Fragrances – these can cause irritation to those with sensitive skin. Look for words such as “parfum” on ingredients lists as they indicated a fragrance has been added. Essential oils are another to look out for as they can have a strong scent.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) – this surfactant is often used as a cleaning agent in sprays and laundry and dishwasher detergents to remove dirt.

How to avoid skin irritation

If you’re concerned about a reaction to cleaning products, then perhaps it’s time to switch to products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin, with no fragrance or colourants. Neutral 0% White Liquid Detergent contains no perfume but still does the job effectively.

If you’ve suffered from skin irritation or have sensitive skin, then check the ingredient labels on your cleaning products for anything that might be an irritant. Switching to brands that don’t use common skin irritants – such as Neutral 0% – could make a difference.

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes is very important. Here are some makeup brush cleaners and helpful tips for how to wash your makeup brushes. Read on for more!

How to Make Soap

How to Make Soap

Are you interested in making your own soap at home? This article has plenty of information about how to make soap as well as handmade soap recipes. Read on for more!