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Allergies From Washing Powders

Updated April 17, 2017

Washing powders and laundry detergents can cause allergies for both kids and adults. Most washing powders or laundry detergents contain fragrances, and these may cause people to have adverse reactions. Symptoms can be mild to severe.

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Chemical allergies from washing powder and other household items is a growing problem. More children and adults are developing sensitivities to these substances, which falls under a condition known as multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) because people usually react to more than one chemical.


People with washing powder allergies usually react to certain chemicals or fragrances contained in the washing powder. Many laundry detergents contain perfumes, dyes and other scents, which can include chemicals such as formaldehyde, phenol and glycerine.


People with washing powder allergies can develop dermatitis or skin rashes on various parts of their body. The rash usually occurs because the skin comes in contact with the laundered clothing. Moreover, some people have more severe symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, dizziness, burning tongue, nausea, shortness of breath, migraines and even diarrhoea from the chemicals in certain detergents.


Avoidance is the best treatment for washing powder allergies. A person who reacts to chemicals and fragrances in laundry detergents likely has a weakened immune system. She may develop more tolerance for these substances by taking antihistamines or getting allergy shots.


People who have washing powder or washing powder allergies should switch to more hypoallergenic brands of detergents. Many of these detergents contain natural oils without the harmful chemicals.

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About the Author

Rick Suttle
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