Can Soaps or Detergents Aggravate Eczema or a Rash?
Medical Author: Alan Rockoff, MD
Medical Editor: Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP, FACMG
Patients often come into my office frustrated, because they have changed their expensive soaps, detergents, fabric softener, shampoo, makeup, etc., yet their skin rash has not gone away. Their first question is, "Is this a rash, or eczema (dermatitis)?"
There are many types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, allergic contact eczema, etc. The signs and symptoms of eczema vary depending on the type of eczema. The skin can be red, itchy, appear as scaly patches on the body, or patches of skin may be crusted, scaling, and very itchy.
So, can expensive soaps, detergents, make-up, fabric softeners, and fragrant soaps "cause" a rash, eczema, or aggravate an existing skin condition?