Is This Common Household Item Poisoning Your Family?

Allergies Are on the Rise

The number of people suffering from allergies is on the rise. The fastest growing group? Those with allergies to common household items.

In most cases, victims develop a rash. But this isn’t just any rash. I’m talking about red, blistered, cracked, painful skin.

In most cases, those who get the rash don’t know why. The rash can last for weeks, even months, at a time. It’s unsightly and so uncomfortable. And it’s a puzzle for doctors.

Or at least it has been.

With the number of people suffering from these strange symptoms on the rise, doctors and researchers have finally started to get a handle on the cause. It’s an allergic reaction to a common preservative used in millions of household products.

Chronic Rash Ruins Lives

The official name of this kind of allergy is contact dermatitis. When your skin comes in contact with a chemical that you’re allergic to, it erupts in an itchy, painful rash.

Contact dermatitis can be difficult to diagnose because some people develop allergic reactions over time.

That means that even though you’ve used a brand of lotion or dryer sheets for years without a problem, those very same products could cause you to break out in a “mysterious,” and “unexplained rash.”

Few people can figure what is causing the rash under those circumstances. After all, why would you consider something that’s never bothered you before?

A variety of chemicals can cause contact dermatitis, but a major culprit these days is methylisothiazolinone.

Let’s call it MI for short.

Consumers have been pushing for health care and beauty product manufacturers to remove preservatives like formaldehyde and paraben from products for years because of health risks. Most companies have complied, replacing them with MI instead.

This has triggered a nightmare for thousands of Americans.

The painful allergic rash caused from MI can last for months. Even worse, if you don’t know what you’re using that’s causing the rash… and you keep using it, then the rash could become chronic. Some people suffer for years before figuring out what’s going on.

This is devastating both due to physical discomfort and for cosmetic reasons. (If you want to see what this kind of rash looks like, you can visit the MI awareness page on Facebook.)

Hidden Toxins

If you’re suffering from an unexplained rash like the one I’ve described here, possible causes include:

  • Baby wipes
  • Hand lotion
  • Cosmetics
  • Hair products
  • Laundry detergents
  • Sunscreens
  • Household cleaning products

The first step to finding permanent relief is to go through all of these kinds of products in your home and search the ingredient labels for MI.

Other similar chemicals that could be causing your rash are isothiazolinone and chloroisothiazolinone. Some products, like cleaning supplies, may not have an ingredient list. In that case, you may need to call the manufacturer to find out if it contains any of these chemicals.

The next step is to eliminate all the products with these chemicals from your daily life. After that, it may take a full eight weeks or more for your rash to clear completely. If it does, you’ll know that MI or a similar chemical was the cause.

Once an allergy like this develops, it stays with you. So, keeping yourself out of contact with these chemicals will become part of your daily life.

One way to do this is to put together a list of safe products.

Burt’s Bees and Seventh Generation product lines are a good place to start. Once you have your list, shop from it when buying beauty, hygiene, or cleaning products.

And double-check the items on your list every six months or so. Product formulas do change so it’s possible MI gets added to something on your safe list. That could put you back to square one.

What Can You Do About It?

While you’re waiting for your rash to heal, you don’t have to live in discomfort. A visit to your doctor or dermatologist is a good idea. They can make recommendations for both prescription and natural remedies that might help your rash to clear faster and that will reduce pain and itching while you heal.

Steroid ointments and eczema creams are common recommendations. Some sufferers have had good luck spreading wool fat ointment, bag balm (check your local feed supply store), or high quality lard over the rash.

If you’ve suffered months or even years with an unexplained rash on your hands, face, or back, you’re not alone. The cause may be MI in your household products. Try eliminating your exposure and see if you can find relief. It’s worth the effort!

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