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3 Common Soap Ingredients that May Trigger Your Skin Allergies

Last updated 1 year ago

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when your skin encounters an allergen which produces a reaction. This reaction most commonly takes the form of inflammation, redness, and itching. Many soaps contain ingredients that can cause allergic contact dermatitis, so talk to your allergist and check the ingredients in your daily cleansers if you have trouble with skin allergies.

  • Fragrances

Many soaps contain fragrances both for your enjoyment while using them and to leave you smelling sweet all day long. However, these ingredients are not required to be disclosed on the label and are one of the most common causes of allergic reactions to soap. Allergy testing for a specific fragrance can be difficult or impossible because all the ingredients are not known. It is often best to consider switching to a product which is specifically labeled as “fragrance-free” to control symptoms if other allergy testing for known ingredients is negative.

  • Balsam of Peru

Also labeled as myroxylon, this vanilla- and cinnamon-scented sap is a common ingredient in many hygiene products, including soaps and shampoos. The main ingredient of balsam of Peru, cinnamein, is a common allergen. While the other components of balsam of Peru vary, they are often resins which similarly hold the potential to cause an allergic reaction.

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate, labeled as SLS, is the ingredient in your soap, shampoo, and other cleaning products that make it foam. SLS is particularly good at breaking up oil and grease on the skin and hair, so it is a common ingredient in many soaps. While SLS is not an often an allergen itself, it is so good at breaking up oils that your skin is left without a natural layer of protection. This makes it easier for allergens to become absorbed by the skin and cause uncomfortable reactions.

Greater Austin Allergy provides allergy testing and treatment for skin allergies and more! Visit   our Austin allergy clinic today to determine the source of your symptoms and begin living allergy-free. You can reach us by calling (512) 732-2774 or clicking on our easy-to-use Web form. 


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