Contact eczema due to cleaning products

Cleaning products are part of our daily life, at home and/or at work. Contact eczema due to cleaning products mainly affects the hands and results in the appearance of plaques, redness and itching.



Which cleaning products are involved?

Handling cleaning products such as bleach, detergents, waxes, dishwashing liquid, etc. can be a source of contact eczema and dermatitis.

Do not confuse allergy and irritation

Before talking about bleach allergy, detergent allergy or more generally chemical allergy, it is important to know that cleaning products are naturally irritating. They are sometimes the cause of a flare-up of contact eczema, but it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between irritant dermatitis and a genuine contact allergy. Irritant dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that appears in an individual, allergic or not, following contact with an irritant substance, and without involving the immune system.

What should you do in case of contact eczema due to cleaning products?

As a first step, it is important to relieve the flare-up of contact eczema when it occurs. The first thing to do is to apply a cortisone cream to the plaques, ideally in the evening while wearing a glove to allow the medication to work overnight. The application of a soothing repair cream to the lesions or on top of the topical corticosteroid increases the efficacy of the topical corticosteroid.

The next step is to identify cleaning products that are sources of allergic eczema or irritant dermatitis to avoid them as much as possible afterwards.


To avoid the appearance of plaques on your hands, wear gloves when cleaning or washing dishes. Once the entire house is clean, wash your hands with an ultra-rich soap or cleansing oil, pat dry with a soft towel, then apply an emollient cream. The wearing of gloves and the application of adapted creams are perfectly complementary.

To limit the risk of allergy to cleaning products and preserve the environment, consider replacing chemical products with more natural but equally effective equivalents: white vinegar, Marseille soap, black soap or baking soda.

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