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Eczema and laundry

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:47 am
by mumsie31
When you have eczema, is it advised to wash clothes regularly and on a longer wash?

Re: Eczema and laundry

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:57 am
by Julie Van Onselen
Hi Mumsie
Thank you for your question. My advice is that you should wash clothes regularly on normal wash cycles. If your machine has a double rinse option, this is a good idea as it will ensure all laundry residue is removed. If clothes have absorbed emollient, then you will need to wash on 60 degrees to get rid of the grease. A 60 degree+ wash is also recommended for all bedding, as house dust mites are killed at this temperature. Remember to use synthetic duvets and pillows and wash every three months.
Two other interesting points about laundry are:
1. There is an assumption that non-biological washing powders and liquids are the safest thing for people with eczema to use and that fabric conditioners can irritate eczema. However, there is no scientific evidence that the enzymes in biological washing powders and liquids make eczema worse. Nevertheless, many people feel that their skin does react to them and for this reason prefer to use non-biological products.
2. Fabric conditioners leave a residue in the items that have been washed and rinsed. They make material feel softer but softness is not essential for many people, so using a fabric conditioner with potentially irritant ingredients (fragrance and other chemicals) can be seen as unnecessary and even harmful to the skin. Some people with eczema do find that they can tolerate the newer, unperfumed fabric conditioners.
If you would like more information about household irritants and eczema, you can find factsheets on the National Eczema Society website at: