Skin can be inflamed and irritated for a variety of reasons. Once the skin is aggravated, it can then be more easily affected by irritants. If you are buying a gift this season for someone with inflammatory skin, it is best to avoid the following:
Fragrances or perfumes
According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, a fragrance formula may consist of 10 to 300 or more different ingredients. When 10 popular perfumes were tested, almost 7 percent of female eczema patients in the study proved to be allergic to them. With so many different ingredients, even an “allergy-friendly” fragrance may be risky.
While you might think that moisturizers could calm skin, it is difficult to know which moisturizer would be best tolerated. When researchers investigated the allergic potential of common moisturizers available at a local drugstore, they found that out of the 276 moisturizers tested, 68 percent of them contained fragrance, making it the most common allergen found in the moisturizers. Other common allergens included paraben, vitamin E and essential oils.
Clothes or scarves made out of wool or itchy material
Depending on how wool is combed and spun, weaker wool fibers can stick out of the finished product and cause skin irritation. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends cotton and loose-fitting clothing, instead.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Some people use this process to improve the appearance of their skin. If your gift recipient already has dry skin, exfoliating products may cause the skin to be more sensitive and to peel. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exfoliating products containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide should definitely be avoided.
Fabrics that are dark blue, brown, black, purple or some green
Allergies is one of the reasons that someone may have inflammatory skin. Allergic individuals should avoid contact with a dye known as disperse blue 106. This dye is often found in products that have been colored dark blue, brown, black, purple or green. It is used in some dark-colored bedding and clothing including stockings, swimsuits and tights.
Air fresheners, candles and other scented products
Fragranced products such as air fresheners have been associated with contact dermatitis. According to a University of Washington study that included air fresheners, an individual fragrance in a product is typically a complex mixture of chemicals, and many of these chemicals are not listed on the labels of the products.
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Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. Learn more about Tracy and what healthy living services and products she can offer on her website. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.