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Pso, You Are Cleaning and Sanitizing?

Let's discuss how chemicals can stress our skin into a flare. I have had psoriasis for 27 years and have experienced triggered flares from cleaning supplies, especially on my hands and arms. Sometimes, it even impacts my face. Now that COVID-19 has impacted the world, there are even harsher chemicals in our sanitization process.

What type of crime do your cleaners commit? Cleaners can be harsh on skin, usually robbing our skin of its natural oils. Dishwashing soap and tile cleaners have always done this for me. Now, we can add in the alcohol sanitizers, mopping solutions, and countertop cleaners.

Being a chef, my hands are always exposed to cleaning supplies.

Helping or a hinderance?

Most places I have worked have used high potency dish detergent like Dawn or Spic and Span. I love being able to get the dishes clean easier but dislike the dryness of the skin around my cuticles and the palms of my hands. The dishes have to wash in water temperatures ranging from 170 degrees to 212 degrees. The intense heat also makes my hands dry.

I have learned to keep moisture rich lotion available after washing my hands dozens of times a day. My dermatologist recommends using thicker creams to help seal in the moisture. CeraVe and Vanicream seem to help me. I try to put lotion on in the morning at home before work and again at the end of the night. So far, I have not had any major breakouts of cracking or bleeding.

Smells can trigger a psoriasis flare

I don't know how you feel, but I have a hard time with some of the harsh smells of cleaning supplies. I find the stronger the smell, the more irritated my face becomes. My skin has always been sensitive to products used on it but now it seems that smells irritate it as well. Cleaners like Pine-sol, or Spic and Span made to clean and sanitize also carry an odor that leaves my face and hands with bright red blotches or full coverage redness.

If I had a dime for every time that someone asks me if I'm OK, I would be a fairly wealthy lady! My skin does not do a polite light shade of pink when it is met with harsh smells or chemicals. No, instead it turns very angry red. The glow of my face is pretty much the first thing people will notice when I am working.

Taking the sting out of the redness

When I was younger I used to take really warm showers and baths. As I got older, and my psoriasis affected my body (often over 97% of my body over all), I learned to use soothing cooler water. My dermatologist asked what cleaners I used on my face and I told her the same thing I washed my body with. She taught me to treat my face to non-drying cleaners. She also explained about adding back moisture that was taken out. My skin is much softer and not nearly as angry.

Trust me it still has it's moments but they are less.

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