5 Causes of Skin Irritation and How to Avoid it


Many people suffer from skin irritations including rashes, swelling, itching, redness and sore patches – but what causes these discomforts and how can they be prevented? Well, there are many things, both environmental and chemical, that can lead to irritations, so here are five triggers and how to avoid them.

  1. Latex allergy

Do you get red, itchy hands every time you do the washing up? This could be down to two things; try turning down the heat, as the hot water might be making your skin sore. If you wear gloves while doing the dishes you could be suffering from a latex allergy. This is fairly common, but the good news is there are many products, such as BroschDirect vinyl gloves, that are a great alternative to latex and contain no allergens.So it might do to switch to these before doing the dishes.

  1. Household cleaners

Again, cleaning might be bad for your health, as household products such as antibacterial sprays, bleach and polish contain an array of hazardous chemicals. But, before you use this as an excuse to lay down your duster and put your feet up, there are other ways to get your house in tip-top shape without coming into contact with ammonia and other skin-burning substances. Lemon juice, for example, is a great natural cleaner and you can even use olive oil to polish the furniture.

  1. Preservatives in soap

If you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or other chronic skin conditions – take note. Preservatives in soap not only causes the skin to dry out (making common skin problems worse) they can cause red patches and severe inflammation in both adults and babies. Some soap even contains formaldehyde which can cause skin, eye and lung irritation, so always look for products without fragrances or chemicals and just use water on babies whenever possible – particularly if they have cuts on the skin.

  1. Sun and sunscreen

While moderate sun exposure has many health benefits such as providing the body with vitamin D (something which many people in the UK are deficient in), it can also lead to sunburn, which can be very sore and uncomfortable. One of the best ways to protect your skin from the sun is to apply generous amounts of sunscreen to all exposed areas, but if you’re allergic to these products (which many people are) look for cream without para-amino benzoic acid (PABA), an ingredient that may be irritating.

  1. Moisturisers and lotions

With skin conditions like eczema, we’re often advised to keep our skin hydrated, but with many lotions and potions containing irritating ingredients/fragrances they can do more harm than good. The more lotion you apply, the worse your skin gets, so it’s essential to find something that’s compatible with your skin type and doesn’t trigger a reaction. Unfortunately this might just be a case of trial and error.

Skin irritations can be extremely unpleasant, but the trick is to identify the cause and you should soon be able to find a solution.

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About Ferland Manuel

Dr, Manuel Ferland is health care specialist,