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Home Industry News Bio washing powders ‘do not worsen eczema’

Bio washing powders ‘do not worsen eczema’

22nd May 2008

Bio detergents should not always be blamed for skin reactions in people with eczema, skin experts have claimed.

The advice follows research that found bio washing detergents are no more harmful to people with eczema than their non-bio counterparts.

It has been suggested that bio detergents, which contain enzymes to assist stain removal, can trigger skin reactions and that they should be avoided by people with eczema.

But after researchers from London and Nottingham conducted a review of evidence on the issue, they discovered that the possible irritant and allergic reactions that could be caused by enzyme raw materials do not translate into a risk of skin reactions when used in washing powders.

“What we have found is that ultimately the balance of all the evidence is that enzymes in laundry detergents are not a cause of either skin irritation or skin allergy,” said researcher Dr Sarah Wakelin from St Mary’s hospital in London.

“Investigations of numerous individuals with skin complaints attributed to laundry products demonstrate convincingly that enzymes were not responsible.

“Indeed, enzyme-containing laundry products have an extensive history of safe use. Thus, the supposed adverse effects of enzymes on skin seem to be a consequence of a mythology.”

Commenting on the research, Dr Colin Holden, president of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “This study highlights that flare-ups of eczema should not just be written off as caused by washing powder.

“This serves as a reminder to medical professionals that an expert dermatologist should explore all the other potential causes, as bio detergents may well not be the culprit.”

The research is due to be published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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