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Bet you didn’t know that how you wash your sheets, towels and t-shirts can also have an effect on your skin?
Everything from your clothes to towels, bedding and even your kids’ toys, can trigger irritation, especially if you suffer from eczema or atopic dermatitis. According to the National Eczema Society, over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema, and there are many different types of this common skin condition.
According to Boca Raton dermatologist Jeffrey Fromowitz, “Dyes and fragrances found in laundry soaps and detergents have chemicals that in adults, children and babies with extremely sensitive skin, can trigger a reaction. It’s a good idea to wash all new fabrics – clothing, bedding, even tablecloths and napkins – before using them to make the fibers softer so they do not irritate your skin. Whenever possible, natural cotton is the best fabric choice.”
“If you do experience an eczema flare, ask your dermatologist about EpiCeram® to repair the skin barrier. Available only by prescription, this FDA-approved cream contains all of the essentials for total skin barrier repair to help relieve itching, dryness and redness,” he says.
For people with AD, everything they eat, drink, and come into contact with can be a potential trigger. Fortunately, there are many kinder, gentler formulas of laundry care on the market that are made to be safer for sensitive skin types.
Dr. Stephen Wang, dermatologist and clinical researcher and co-founder of Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare , recently created a natural, herbal-based, steroid-free skincare formulation specifically developed for people with eczema and sensitive skin. His Eczema Ointment Natural Calming Moisturizer ($29.95), available over the counter, soothes skin and boosts its moisture level to stop itchy skin in its tracks.
Ceramides are also the key to repairing the skin barrier. These little lipids or fats are naturally found in the skin’s structure and work to help retain moisture. Hydrating moisturizers containing ceramides replace those lost from aging, sun exposure, and responses to irritants, like detergents, dyes and soaps.
Alastin Moisturizer ($55) is rich in ceramides and antioxidants to help soothe skin and promote and maintain the barrier function.
If you’re looking for the best laundry care to avoid flares, all® free clear liquid laundry detergent received the National Eczema Society Seal of Acceptance because it is free of dyes, fragrances and residues and removes 99% of seasonal and household allergens.
Follow these 6 tips for avoiding rashes, redness and scratching from fabrics:
- Read labels to look for any dyes and fragrances in your laundry soaps or fabric softeners
- Try liquid products – detergents and fabric softeners – that tend to leave less residue than powder formulas
- Use the ‘extra rinse’ setting on your washing machine and avoid product over-use
- Shop for “free and clear” products and plant-based ingredients that tend to be gentler on skin
- Keep your washing machine super clean (get rid of nasty lint, dust and mold)
- If you’re using laundromat washers or the washer in your building or condo, make sure it has been recently cleaned out
NOTE: Alastin and Dr. Wang’s products were provided for review. Opinions are my own.