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Winter Dry Skin and Contact Dermatitis Allergies:

In the winter most of us suffer with dry skin and that seems to make contact dermatitis and eczema worse. We also wear more clothes which in the case of textile dermatitis makes things go from bad to worse to worst. The trick is to try to figure out what you are allergic to and try to eliminate as many irritants as possible. These are some of the things I have learned to avoid.

• Stay away from known allergens such as :  Nickle ( especially in costume jewelry, gold filled jewelry and  and white gold jewelry) , poison ivy and latex.
• Perfumes are a very prevalent irritant for both respiratory and skin allergies
• Dyes, this is a big one for me. I am allergic to red and blue disperse dyes. All colors except pure yellow have at least a little red or blue in them.
• Most cases of homemaker’s eczema (mostly on hands )are irritant contact dermatitis resulting from repeated skin exposure to  irritants, particularly soaps, water, and detergents. detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate in combination produce more irritant contact dermatitis in combination than singly
• Another common irritant to those with allergies are protein hydrolysates, found in many conditioning shampoos, intensive conditioners, and skin creams. These proteins help to quickly add moisture to dry, damaged hair and skin. Unfortunately, they also cause moderate allergic reactions in many people. Therefore, it is best to purchase hypoallergenic products that do not contain protein hydrolysates.
• Textile coatings and finishes- modern clothes are covered in all sorts of helpful finishes and coatings like formaldehyde. Most clothing companies, have no idea what exactly is on their clothes, because the fabric and clothes are made in China or other country with low labor and material costs. Disperse dyes are especially troublesome for many.
• Synthetic and natural fibers. Some people are allergic to synthetic fiber fabrics and others natural fibers like wool and down.
• Pet dander and saliva, many people have problems with pet allergies, keep your pets out of your bedroom and wash any clothes that may have pet dander or saliva on them.
• Bathing in hot water, can deplete the skin of natural oils. Use skin temperature water of 98 degrees or so.
• Use a  perfume-free, dye-free , protein hydrolysates free lotion after bathing to seal in moisture.

Patch testing for contact allergies should include: para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which historically has been considered to be a screening allergen for textile dye dermatitis, is included in most baseline patch test series. Some disperse dyes known to cause contact allergy are included in textile patch test screening series but not in commercially available baseline patch test series. Go to http://allergycomfortzone.com/skin-allergies.html for full blog.


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