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Answer to your Health Question


What household product has caused my contact dermatitis?



Dear Madeleine,

Many substances in household products can cause allergic reactions, including hair dyes or straighteners; the metal nickel, which is found in jewelry and belt buckles; tanning agents in leather; latex rubber; and citrus fruit, especially the peeling.

The fragrances in soaps, shampoos, lotions, perfumes, and cosmetics can cause a reaction.

Many chemicals, including industrial cleaning products and solvents, can cause this condition.

Household cleaners such as detergents can also cause dermatitis.

The cause of contact dermatitis is direct contact with one of many irritants or allergens. These include:

-Strong detergents or soaps
-Skin cleaning products
-Cosmetics or makeup
-Clothing or shoes
-Household cleaning products
-Formaldehyde and other chemicals
-Rubber or latex
-Metals, such as nickel
-Perfume or fragrances
-Weeds and plants, such as poison ivy or poison oak
-Medicinal lotions, such as antihistamines, antibiotics or antiseptics

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