Chemical sensitivity is a difficult condition to diagnose. With all of the same hallmarks of allergies, such as rashes and irritated skin, but no common allergen to blame, it can be difficult to see it as more than just ‘sensitive’ skin. However, many suffer from this condition where their body reacts to harsh chemicals and heavy metals with an allergic or even auto-immune type response. While it may feel that your child is allergic to the world, there are steps you can take to make your home a safe haven for them. In addition to learning what the worst irritants are and carefully reading labels to avoid the culprits, here are ways to help your child’s skin problems.
Avoid Harsh Cleaners
Irritating preservatives prevent microbial growth but unfortunately can cause irritation to the skin. Preservatives are known to be the second most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Dyes tint products to match skin colors, disguise an undesirable ingredient color, or to tint a product to appeal more to the consumer. Formaldehyde releasers, parabens, and others preserve a product against mold, bacteria, and fungus contamination but also can cause irritation. Surfactants are known for their cleaning or detergent use and for foaming action, but some are skin irritants and sensitizers.
Install a Home Water Filter
Many people install kitchen water filters to counteract the effects of hard water for drinking, but children with particularly sensitive skin may find themselves with dry, itchy skin after every encounter with hard water at every home faucet. In this case, it is simpler to install a whole-home water filtration system to cover all of the water in your home, including showers and bathroom faucets. It filters any sediment, the chlorine odor and taste, and other undesirable elements that may be causing your child discomfort when washing their hands or bodies. Any residential plumbing service will be able to install these, and as the filters rinse and clean themselves, it is a fairly straightforward addition to your home’s plumbing.
Keep Surfaces Wiped Clean
Washing and disinfecting your kitchen surfaces and hands regularly is an important step to help your family’s health. FoodSafety.gov advises taking steps to clean surfaces, utensils, dishes, and hands with hot soapy water before, during and after preparing and eating each food item. Wiping should never be in a circular motion as that causes a dirty wipe to be passed over an area which has just been cleaned. The best technique is to wipe in straight horizontal lines overlapping the previous one and should be done from back to front, from top to bottom, and from cleanest to dirtiest.
Avoid Body Soaps and Shampoos With Artificial Scents
Fragrance may be used to cover up undesirable odors in some of the ingredients in chemical shampoos. Use a natural shampoo that will give clean hair and is free of offending chemicals. A natural shampoo combines essences, essential oils, botanical products, super-hydrating herbal extracts, and nourishing vitamins and minerals that not only moisturize and clean the scalp and hair but also maintain pH balance. The fewer products, the better in terms of caring for your child’s sensitive skin.
Protecting the surface of the skin from inflammation and irritants and providing calming and gentle formulas for skin and hair care will go a long way towards giving your child welcome solutions to everyday necessary chores.