How Household Cleaning Agents Affect the Skin
Love tidying up? Don’t forget to protect your skin when using cleaning agents. Read about the ways they can affect your skin.
While household cleaning agents are essential to maintaining a tidy and sanitized home, they do wreak havoc on your skin. Detergents, scrubs, stain removers, and the like contain harsh ingredients that can cause irritation and various skin issues.
A 2014 study in the showed that wet hands are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of chemicals in cleaning agents. You don’t have to be a professional cleaner to experience this. Simple housework exposes your skin to these dangers, too.
Drain cleaners with hydrochloric acid, lye, and sodium hydroxide can cause severe skin burns. Bleach might be your go-to whitener for your bathroom tiles, but repeated contact may lead to itchy and inflamed skin. Other types of cleaning agents that contain harsh ingredients include toilet bowl cleaners, glass cleaners, oven cleaners, and all-purpose cleaners.
Here are the different things that can happen to your skin when you work with these chemicals unprotected.
1. Dry Skin
One of the most common effects of contact with cleaning agents is . Lye, sulfuric acid, ammonia, and other harsh chemicals may dry or damage your skin, especially after repeated exposure. If you use products with a high alcohol content to spot clean, your hands and fingers can become rough and dry.
While a may be good for people with eczema, the process of cleaning may not be. The cleaning agents you use to wipe out dust can trigger a flare-up if you don’t wear protective gear, like long sleeves and gloves. Slip on some cotton gloves underneath latex-free and powder-free neoprene gloves to absorb sweat, another possible irritant.
In addition, the National Eczema Association recommends using bleach diluted with water and microfiber cloths and mops to clean floors and other surfaces. These minimize your risk of irritation and are better for the environment.
Cleaning agents can also trigger psoriasis, a condition that manifests in patches of thick red skin with silvery scales. Anything that contains alcohol and sulfates – a key ingredient in detergents and stain removers – can cause flare-ups. Because the palms are commonly affected, ensure they are safe and covered before doing household work.
Having said that, if your condition is making it painful to even hold a mop, skip the cleaning and talk to your doctor about at-home maintenance and treatments. According to a survey, also have trouble with chores because of symptoms like cracked skin, nail lesions, and arthritis. So, if you can’t exactly do the cleaning yourself, don’t sweat. Your health comes first.
4. Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is basically your skin’s way of rejecting ingredients it doesn’t like. There are two types of contact dermatitis: irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) and allergic dermatitis (AD). The former occurs when an external substance damages the skin, while the latter refers to an allergic reaction from contact with an allergen.
In the case of cleaning agents, irritants like bleach, solvents, and acids may lead to this . Accidental exposure to cleaning agents won’t automatically result in dermatitis, but precautions like wearing gloves to protect your skin can't hurt either.
You could even trigger from an essential oil or plant extract in all-natural cleaning agents, so work with your allergologist to identify which substances to avoid.
How to Protect Your Skin When Cleaning
You can’t avoid cleaning altogether, but you can shield your skin. In addition to wearing gloves when doing the dishes, laundry, and other tasks that involve cleaning agents, apply a layer of emollient cream to your hands as added protection.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is made with 100% pure petroleum jelly to lock in moisture for healing and protection against dry, cracked hands. For a quick and easy overnight treatment after a long day of household cleaning, pamper yourself with a and slip on cotton gloves to seal the moisture overnight.
If isn’t your thing, moisturize your hands with Vaseline Intensive Care Deep Restore Body Lotion instead. It has pure aloe vera extract and Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to deeply hydrate and help repair cracked skin from the harmful effects of cleaning agents.
Even if you don’t have preexisting conditions like allergies, eczema, or psoriasis, protect your skin from the harmful ingredients in cleaning agents. Taking precautions and using the right products can spare your skin from unnecessary damage.