Common Household Irritants

Many of the common irritants for eczema are found in the home. Being aware of what things can aggravate your eczema will help you avoid unnecessary flare-ups. Download the PDF and print it out for reference.

What Can Aggravate Eczema In Your House?

Soap

Avoid using soap. Instead use an emollient wash.

Baby wipes

Use moistened cotton wool or kitchen towel with emollient lotion/cream.

Towels

Use soft cotton towels. To avoid infection of the eczema, use a different towel for each person. Dab dry - rubbing can irritate skin

Bubble bath & shampoo

Avoid using bubble bath, use an emollient bath oil. Use a non slip bath mat to avoid accidents.

Use a shampoo that is suitable for skin with eczema. For babies & children up to 18 months, wash hair in water containing an emollient bath oil. Do not wash hair more than twice a week.

Soap

Use an emollient wash as a soap substitute when washing your hands before preparing food.

Cleaning fluids

Avoid direct contact with skin. Use PVC gloves.

Washing powder/conditioner residues in bed clothes and clothing

Use double rinse cycle. Use non-bio powder and no fabric conditioner. Wash at above 60°C to kill house dustmites.

Carpets

Vacuum carpets daily, particularly around the skirting boards where dust mites are at higher levels. When re-decorating, use laminated floor coverings or floor tiles which allow damp mopping.

High room temperature

Keep room cool – at around 18 °C.

Dryness/Humidity

Try to keep humidity levels to around 50%. Dry air can dry the skin. Humid air can cause mould and house dust mite growth. Both can trigger eczema. Monitor humidity at home with a hygrometer. If it is too humid use a dehumidifier to collect excess moisture from the air. If the air is too dry try placing a bowl of clean water near the radiator.

Synthetic bed clothes

Use cotton sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases whenever possible. Wash all bed clothes weekly to reduce levels of dust mites. Synthetic clothing – use clothes made from natural fibres, especially cotton.

Duvet/Pillows

Use duvet and pillows filled with man made fibre. Layer low tog duvets or cotton blankets, this will keep you cool and prevents itching.

Soft toys

Keep the number of soft toys to a minimum. Regularly place soft toys in a plastic bag in the freezer for 24 hours to kill dust mites.

Pets

Keep pets out of the bedroom particularly at night. Don’t allow pets onto the bed. If you don’t have a pet, don’t get one or choose a non furry or outdoor pet. Limit contact with pets and wash hands after touching. Keep pets and their bedding in the kitchen or utility area.

Pets

Keep pets out of the bedroom particularly at night. Don’t allow pets onto the bed. If you don’t have a pet, don’t get one or choose a non furry or outdoor pet. Limit contact with pets and wash hands after touching. Keep pets and their bedding in the kitchen or utility area.

Curtains

Vacuum and if possible wash curtains regularly. Replace curtains with roller blinds as they hold less dust.

Soft furnishings

Vacuum regularly particularly at the seams where there are high levels of house dust mites. Consider leather or leather look coverings as these trap less dust and are easy to clean.

Dust

Use a damp duster and if appropriate a damp mop to remove dust regularly.

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