Besides being one of life’s annoying little chores, doing laundry without taking certain precautions, can lead to irritating eczema and psoriasis flare ups. Below are eleven laundry tips for eczema and psoriasis that will help you to avoid exacerbating your condition!
Laundry Tip #1- Choosing Detergents
Detergents can contain harmful chemicals and skin allergens. Look for labels that promote free and clear on your detergent. Always use products that are free of harmful dyes and fragrances. I prefer liquid detergents to the powdered forms.
Some Choices Include:
- All Free Clear Detergent
- Clorox Green Works
- Ultra Purex Natural Elements
- Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent
- Eco’s Free and Clear Laundry Detergent
Laundry Tip #2- Precise Measurement
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is recommended that you stick to the guidelines on the label of the detergent. Do not add extra soap to the wash. You run the risk of not thoroughly rinsing all of the detergent from your clothing.
Laundry Tip #3- Avoid Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets
Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are both common triggers of eczema and psoriasis. They contain several allergens, including: fragrances, dyes, Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol and Camphor. Avoid using them altogether.
Laundry Tip #4- Wash New Clothes
New clothing may contain dyes and fabric finishes that can cause skin irritation if worn before washing. Always launder new clothing before putting it on.
Laundry Tip #5- Properly Hand Washing Garments
The biggest concern involved with hand washing garments, is not rinsing the clothing thoroughly. It is important to rinse all detergent from your clothing to avoid flare ups. Remember to measure precisely. Wear disposable gloves when hand washing your garments. Latex is a common skin allergen, so choose the latex free alternative for gloves.
Laundry Tip #6- Stop Using Starch
Spray starch is often use when ironing. However, it can stiffen your clothing, causing friction that leads to an irritation of eczema and psoriasis rashes.
Laundry Tip #7- Don’t Crowd the Machine
Overcrowding the washing machine with big, oversized loads can be a problem. It is likely that the detergent will not completely dissolve. It is better to do a couple smaller loads and have the detergent dissolve properly and rinse clean, than it is to cram everything you own into one huge load!
Laundry Tip #8- Let Rinse Cycle Run
Never stop the machine before it has completely run it’s cycle. The rinse cycle is imperative for rinsing all detergent remnants from your clothing. If you notice that that your clothing has not rinsed completely free of detergent, run the rinse cycle again.
Laundry Tip #9- Wear Soothing Fabrics
Wearing the wrong fabrics can irritate the skin. Especially, if you have eczema or psoriasis. Wear loose fitting garments made from non-irritating fabrics. Some soothing fabrics, include: cotton, silk, linen and rayon. Avoid irritating fabrics such as wool and poly-synthetic blends.
Take care when choosing your wardrobe and laundering your clothing. These tips will help to manage your eczema or psoriasis symptoms. In addition, it is important to avoid other triggers and implement a proper moisturizing and skin care routine.
Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting has developed a sensitive skin care product line which she blogs about regularly at cherylleedmd.com