Types of Soap Allergies

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Soap allergies can cause a lot of discomfort and itching.

If you suddenly develop a rash or bumps on your skin, you may suspect that you have an allergy. This reaction could be from something that you ate if you have food allergies, or it could be from the soap that you used when you took a shower.

People with soap allergies can develop respiratory problems as well as skin reactions. Soap allergies often result from the laundry detergent that was used to wash clothes.

Recognizing an allergic reaction to soap

If you have recently tried a new soap, this could be the cause of your skin rash. Skin rashes from particular kinds of soap can cause eczema, skin blisters and pain. Some people experience a burning sensation over most of their body if they have an allergic reaction to soap. Types of skin rashes are referred to as dermatitis, and this term includes inflammation of many types on the skin.

Some people with soap allergies develop dry, cracked skin that peels. According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, swelling may also be a symptom of a soap allergy. The swelling can be painful and tender. A person with a serious reaction to a brand of soap may develop skin lesions that ooze. Other reactions to soap can be a headache, feeling dizzy or nauseous, itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, or even diarrhea.

Some soaps more likely to cause allergic reactions than others

Pure soap is not usually the culprit that causes skin rashes when someone is allergic to soap. Today's soaps are not like those that were homemade years ago. Many of the soaps available today are actually detergents that contain petrochemicals. Chemicals present in liquid soap or shampoo, dishwashing liquid, and other soap products can cause allergic reactions.

Soap products on the market today often include phenol, formaldehyde, glycerin and other ingredients. Consumers love soaps that smell great, and they will pay more money to buy fancy soaps with scents. Many soaps contain antibiotic ingredients that kill bacteria, and these can also cause allergies in some people. The person allergic to a particular soap product could be allergic to any of the ingredients added to the soap.

According to AAAAI, a study completed in 2005 showed that about one in 10 people is allergic to soap products containing antibiotics. These should be avoided by anyone who has sensitivities to these products.

Dealing with an allergic reaction to soap

Skin rashes that appear about half an hour after washing dishes, taking a bath or using a soap product may be a soap allergy. Someone allergic to dish detergent may notice that his or her hands turn red and itch after washing dishes by hand. If this happens, it is best to discontinue using the detergent. You can also take an antihistimine such as non-drowsy Benadryl.

If you develop a serious reaction to a soap product, you should see your allergist to confirm that you have a soap allergy. People with serious allergies to soaps and the ingredients in them can have difficulty being around perfumes and cleaning products as well. Your allergist can help you cope with this type of allergy. There are hypoallergenic soaps for bathing, dishwashing and washing clothes on the market that you will need to buy.

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