Washing Powder Sensitivity

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I have been coming out in prickly hives all over my back and around my waist and collar line. It gets really itchy. Have I got an allergy to something? How can I fix it in a natural way?

A. This has been a common occurrence recently. Often it is due to winter clothes which have been washed in perfumed laundry powders which also contain optical whiteners, enzymes and dyes. Some people can express a skin sensitivity to these.

This tends to manifest more in winter time as you heat up and sweat a little, the washing powder comes into contact with the skin and causes a contact reaction and itchiness. Whereas in summertime the clothes get a lot more ventilation when worn and the skin reaction does not occur as much.

I recommend that you buy Persil sensitive next time, which is perfume free, or the laundry powder from Ecostore which is a natural laundry powder which stands up in trials against other commercial laundry powders for its effectiveness. Ecostore products are delicately fragranced with essential oils that will not irritate the skin. Now you can get fragrance free Ecostore products as well.

Whenever you have itchiness, this indicates the presence of histamine. Therefore one can assume it is an allergic reaction of some sort. The washing powders is one place to start, however you may find that you have other sensitivities – some food groups, pollens, dust. These can also aggravate the condition. If you are unsure, you can have an allergy test done to identify such allergens, and then remove them as best you can – read more about our allergy testing in the 'About' section.