Irritant Contact Dermatitis

What is irritant contact dermatisis?

Frequent use of everyday substances which contain certain chemicals can cause irritant contact dermatitis, which is a form of eczema. Detergents can cause irritation to the skin aswell as other chemicals such a Sodium Sulphate Laurate.

Bath times

Our daughters itchiness after bathing always seemed more pronounced and because bed time followed bath time, it would be a struggle to get her to stop scratching and actually fall asleep.

I would routinely get into a squabble with my husband, over bathing and whilst I insisted on a daily bath, he wanted our daughter to bathe every other day. In the end we tried every other day and found it made some difference. With the state of mind both of us were in from lack of sleep, some difference is progress and worth shouting about.

This every other day of bathing made us conclude either the bathing itself was problematic or maybe the water with the subsequent contact with the cooler air when changing into pyjamas was causing the itching, or maybe there was something in the bath water itself?

My first step was to give the bath a good clean using just very hot water out of the shower and make sure any potential residues from me and my husband using the bath or from me cleaning the bath were definitely removed.

The next step involved just bathing using water and no bathing solutions. This made a huge difference, so we could be fairly confident in assuming something chemical was causing a reaction and subsequent itching.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate

We then decided to use a different bathing solution, one which didn't contain many chemicals. This also helped reduce the itching and was a major step for us.

We didn't squabble about bath times no more and they became enjoyable for all of us, instead of a struggle. So what was the chemical causing the problem?

We think it was Sodium Lauryl Suplphate, also known by its abbreviated form SLS caused the irritant contact dermatitis reaction.