Detergent allergy: how to recognize it!


In a detergent allergy, various symptoms may occur. Here you will learn everything about the possible symptoms, causes and treatment options!

What is a detergent allergy?

A detergent allergy is a so-called contact allergy, which can lead to various symptoms such as itching or skin irritation on the whole body. As a triggering allergen different substances in the detergent in question. Various medications help against the complaints , sufferers should also use only detergents that are suitable for allergy sufferers.

The allergen in washing machines: where does my allergic reaction come from?

Detergents and detergents contain many different chemical compositions of different substances in different concentrations, which can trigger allergic reactions. The most common known allergens include:

  • Enzymes: These substances provide a higher washing power at low temperatures, for example for gentle washing of 30 to 40 degrees.
  • Surfactants: The task of the surfactants in the detergent is to dissolve fat. However, residues of the fabric may adhere to the clothing and destroy the acid mantle of the skin on direct contact. Dry skin is often the result – people with existing skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis are also highly allergic.
  • Perfumes and perfumes: They provide the pleasant scent of clothing after washing – but many people are sensitive to it. To avoid allergy symptoms , the fragrances should be completely avoided. This does not only apply to detergents, but also to care products such as creams or cosmetics.

Further so-called allergenic contact substances are plasticizers, optical brighteners, phosphates, soap components, colophony and dyes.

What symptoms does a detergent allergy have?

The detergent allergy is a type IV contact allergy. This means that the allergic reactions occur with a time delay – with detergents usually only after about 12 hours. Therefore, in the beginning, the symptoms are in many cases not attributed to a detergent allergy at all. Allergy sufferers may suffer from the following symptoms, some of which are similar to those of a cold:

  • itching
  • Rash on the whole body
  • Dry, inflamed skin
  • Bleeding eyes to conjunctivitis
  • Burning or stinging pain at the point of contact
  • Swelling of the mucous membranes
  • Shortness of breath (in severe cases)

At the beginning of the allergy, the symptoms are usually weak. But if it comes again and again to the contact with the respective allergen, they can strengthen themselves and lead in the worst case to a life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Therefore, should be sought at a first suspicion by a prick test the allergy trigger. In severe skin reactions, the triggering substance can usually be determined by a so-called epicutaneous test.

Treatment: What helps against complaints of allergies?

For existing symptoms help drugs such as antihistamines or cortisone-containing ointments. Allergy sufferers should avoid washing powder containing the triggering allergen. There are special detergents for allergy sufferers. Even with fabric conditioners you should pay close attention to the ingredients and, if necessary, prefer to forego the funds.

Many sufferers also swear by the soap nut: For clean laundry, five to eight half shells of soapnuts are placed in a lockable cotton sack and placed directly in the washing drum.