It’s Spring, and what better time to ‘Spring Clean’ your home.
In theory it’s a great idea, but practically for people who suffer from allergies and eczema, it’s a potential nightmare.
Spring cleaning generally involves chemicals and detergents that dry out the skin, stripping it of its natural oils. You’re bound to stir up dust and other bacteria that are known allergens to eczema sufferers.
Avoiding a flare up
It’s possible to ‘Spring Clean’ your home and avoid a flareup (sorry, your eczema doesn’t get you out of cleaning!) if you take a few precautions. For most of us it is simply not possible to completely remove artificial cleaners from our daily lives and organic, natural products can be very expensive. Here are a few tips to help you through your ‘Spring Clean’.
Wear gloves when washing the dishes or cleaning using any chemicals. Cotton liners under rubber gloves will help to prevent irritation from the rubber.
Dust when disturbed becomes airborne which will result in your breathing it in or catching some particles in your eyes. If you are getting into something particularly dusty, try wearing a face mask that will cover your nose and mouth. You may also like to wear glasses to protect your eyes. No matter how silly you may think you look, you’ll end up with a clean and eczema free environment.
Wash your hands after using chemicals and always remoisturise after having your hands in water. Try to select cleaning agents which are less harsh on your hands and our environment.
Use a mild detergent to wash your clothes in. Don’t chop and change your detergent. If you find one that doesn’t irritate your skin don’t use different ones because they are cheaper or because the ads say they are better.
If you have problems with clothes irritating your skin wash your clothes, towels and bedding twice. Once in detergent and once in plain water as an extra rinse. It is usually the detergent residue left in the clothes after washing that irritates the skin.
We have become a society with obsessive personal hygiene. Which is good because none of us like to be near a smelly person. But do we go over the top – especially those with sensitive skin.
Over washing or prolonged exposure to water strips the skin of its natural oils resulting in dry, cracked skin. This is a problem for anyone but for the eczema sufferer it is a major problem. Dry skin coupled with a sensitivity to many of the additives found in our personal cleaning agents leads to many eczema flare ups.
There are many soap substitutes available that make the use of soaps unnecessary. Try using a cleansing bar, skin wash, skin cream or emulsifying ointment. These non soap cleansing lotions have a neutral pH and are unperfumed. They are far less likely to cause a skin irritation than normal soaps.
Avoid using perfumes or after shave lotions that are scented. Choose deodorants that are natural or manufactured for sensitive skin. It may take some trial and error but it is worth shopping around to find the products that best suit your skin.