NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With as many as 45% of Americans reporting sensitive skin, Dr. Shirin Peters offers advice to consider when addressing sensitive skin needs in light of Family Wellness Month. As various household items might unknowingly cause irritation and discomfort to the skin, it is important to identify skin-friendly substitutions and alternative methods of cleaning.
“Parents strive to meet the needs of their family, but sometimes they are unaware that there are allergens or common skin irritants in the products they are purchasing for their children. With skin being the body’s largest organ, it is important to pay close attention to the everyday items you might be using to properly address sensitivity issues,” says Dr. Shirin Peters.
Below, Dr. Peters notes common items to be mindful of if you or a family member suffer from sensitive skin:
- Hand soaps. While it is vital to wash our hands, the frequency and harsh chemicals can often cause irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to an ingredient, while irritant contact dermatitis covers a spectrum of reactions – from dryness and itching or even cracking and bleeding. To avoid either reaction after handwashing use an alcohol-based handrub that contains humectants. Compared to plain or antimicrobial soap, these are easier to tolerate and associated with a better skin condition.
- Moisturizers. Not every moisturizer suits every skin type. If someone in your family has sensitive skin, use a thick emollient cream to help add hydration, soothe dry skin and address irritation. An emollient cream, unlike moisturizing ointments and lotions, does not use as much oil, which causes greasiness, or preservatives, which are more likely to trigger skin sensitivity.
- Laundry Detergent. Many laundry detergents have all sorts of chemicals – including surfactants, parabens, dyes, and artificial fragrances. Because we use detergent to clean everything from clothing to household linens, our entire bodies can be exposed to harsh, reaction-producing allergens. Make sure to use a hypoallergenic detergent to reduce your family’s irritant exposure, such as Arm and Hammer Sensitive Skin, which is hypoallergenic and preservative-free.
- Jewelry. Many do not realize that metals can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Specifically, around 18 percent of people in the U.S. are allergic to nickel, which because it is cheap is widely used in jewelry. To avoid nickel reactions, look for jewelry made of surgical-grade stainless steel or either 14-, 18- or 24-karat yellow gold. Be especially careful of nickel if you or your child are getting piercings or have healing pierced skin.
- Topical Products. Before applying a new product, use a “patch test” to rule out the potential for a skin reaction by applying a small amount of product to your arm or leg. If there is a reaction within 24 hours, such as redness, swelling, burning, and itching – the product is probably a bad match for your skin.
“By carefully considering the products around us and making mindful changes, we can address an aspect of our family’s wellness that is often overlooked. However, it is important to remember that if you have a skin condition that needs attention, consider using video consultation services or telemedicine with your doctor,” adds Peters.