What Are The Commonest Skin Irritants?

Skin irritation is a very common problem and often it results from irritants or allergens. Irritants irritate the skin of almost everybody, but the allergens only affect those people who are allergic to these substances.

Here are some of the common irritants and allergens that generally affect people.

Many plants like poison ivy, poison oak, etc. can cause irritation like appearance of red, itchy bumps on the skin which can last for 2 to 3 weeks. This type of irritation is often seen among the hikers and campers and also in cases of children. The best way to prevent it is to cover as much of the body as possible.

The next in line are the household cleaners and laundry detergents. Cleaners like all purpose cleaners, toilet and drain cleaners, window and glass cleaners and also the dish-washing chemicals can cause irritation to the skin. Sometimes, with constant use, the skin may become rough. So whenever using these wear protective gloves and wash your hands clean after every use.

In case of the laundry detergents, the dyes and fragrances added to them are often the culprits. Many people may face similar reactions to the soaps they are using. So if you are allergic to them, buy soaps and detergents that are free from these.

Cosmetics including sun block lotions can sometimes become the cause of irritation as well as allergy. Since various chemicals are used in various proportions in these products, every person may not react in the same way to them.

If you get irritation by using one brand or type of cosmetics, then you can try another. Make sure that you do not use cosmetics which are past their shelf life and also keep all your applicators clean.


A common cause of skin irritation is shaving and hair removal. Inadequate lubrication of the surface is often the cause of such irritation. Also make sure that the razor blade is sharp enough as not to pull the hairs.

Waxing can cause temporary skin irritation too. Heat rashes resulting from excessive sweating and stings and bites from insects are some of the other causes. Another cause that we often overlook is the clothes we wear. Often the fabrics contain abrasives and dyes which we are allergic to. Natural fabrics may sometimes provide the solution in such cases.



aditi