- One of the most important things for those suffering from eczema is finding a good laundry detergent. Ironically, eczema can be caused by some detergents, so the last thing you need is something to irritate the condition even more. Watch out for laundry detergents that contain enzymes, because they can by highly irritating to eczema. In addition, make sure to choose one that is free of all perfumes and dyes.
AskDrSears.com suggests using mild, dye-free detergents, such as Ivory or Dreft; however, Dreft contains a light fragrance that could irritate severe cases of eczema. The site also says that liquid detergents rinse out better, and it is a good idea to do a double rinse (usually referred to as "extra rinse" on most washers).
Making Your Own Detergent
- Another option is to make your own laundry detergent. There are many recipes on the Internet, and you must decide whether you want to make a liquid or powder detergent. Recipes for both types tend to make large batches, so be sure you have something in which to store your detergent. Additionally, if you are a visual learner, there are several videos available on You Tube.
Most of the detergent recipes you find online contain the same general ingredients: borax; washing powder, which is not the same as commercial powdered laundry detergent; and a bar soap. Borax and Arm & Hammer washing powder can be found at most grocery stores. Many people use Zote bar soap (found at some grocery and Dollar General stores) for homemade laundry detergent, but you need to be sure it will not irritate your eczema. If you have a bar soap that you are comfortable with, you should use that.
Because you are making your own detergent, you can add fragrances that may not irritate your eczema. For instance, essential oils are less likely to cause irritation than the traditional fragrances and enzymes found in conventional detergents. Make sure you test any essential oils you choose to be sure you don't have a reaction.
Essential oils are usually heavily diluted when used in such things as homemade hand sanitizers and baby wipe solutions. Once you find a fragrance that is compatible with your eczema, you can have a custom-made scent for any use.