What Chemicals Influence Allergies? What Chemicals Have the Most Effect?

The human body, although designed to heal itself and to fight back disease, is still vulnerable to allergens or substances that cause allergic reactions, also known as allergies. Among the examples of allergens are chemicals which can be found in common household and beauty items such as shampoos, conditioners, laundry soaps, liquid detergents, household cleaning solutions, fragrances in body sprays, and coloring pigments such as hair dyes.

There are five common household chemicals that induce allergies (“5 Household Chemicals That Cause Allergic Reactions” 2015). One example is triclosan, which is commonly found in commercial powders. Aside from being considered as a toxin by the FDA, triclosan causes skin infections and hay fevers.

Another common chemical that causes allergies is ammonia. It consists of a compound of the elements nitrogen and hydrogen, ammonia is colorless and has a powerful scent. Inhalation of high doses of ammonia can cause irritation of the respiratory tract, as well as headaches and irritation of the eyes.

Not only do household items cause allergies but also skin and beauty products too. Fragrances found in body sprays and soaps can cause allergies as well (“7 Skin Care Ingredients That Can Trigger Allergic Reactions”). These good-smelling chemicals may irritate the body by inducing headaches, sneezing, and in worse cases, rashes.

SLS, or sodium laurel sulfate, is often found in shampoos and body washes and can cause skin and eye irritation. Antiperspirant roll-ons can also potentially damage the skin of the user, since it contains aluminum compounds. Allergies to these compounds are manifested by swelling and redness of the armpits. Lastly, acne medication and even antibacterial face washes contain salicylic acid or beta hydroxy acid and may harm the skin rather than heal it. Hypersensitivity to this chemical can cause burning and peeling, which can lead to dry and sensitive skin.

It is undeniable that these chemicals are being used by humans on a daily basis. With symptoms developing and recurring, however, the symptoms may fade if users resort to products without the inclusion of these substances.

Works Cited

“5 Household Chemicals That Cause Allergic Reactions.” Angie’s List. 3 Sept. 2015, www.angieslist.com/articles/5-household-chemicals-cause-allergic-reactions.htm.
“7 Skin Care Ingredients That Can Trigger Allergic Reactions.” Stroke Center – EverydayHealth, Ziff Davis, LLC, 8 Sept. 2014, www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/skin-care-ingredients-allergic-reactions/#aluminum-compounds.

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