Got a flare that just seems to keep on truckin’? Is your child continually suffering from allergies, disease flares or illness? Inflammation is likely the culprit. Inflammation is our body’s way of putting up the fight and protecting itself from invaders. However, for some of us it just can’t stop itself from the attack. It just keeps going on and on. Some of us it’s hair triggers in life that aggravate conditions.
How Can We Reduce Inflammation?
We do need inflammation to help us control foreign invaders. However, we want to keep it to a minimum for those of us with autoimmune or autoinflammatory disorders. We can make a few simple changes to reduce inflammatory agents our body is coming into contact with.
Product Chemicals that Cause Irritation & Inflammation
Ever used a soap or hand product and noticed skin irritation? That’s probably some inflammation. Rash… inflammation. Not good. Chemicals in modern products can cause increased inflammatory response and irritation. Any type of skin irritation can lead to a body response of inflammation.
Hand & Body Soap
Start by looking at your hand and body soap. These are easily made from scratch or switched to a safer cleaner brand. If there are chemicals you can’t pronounce there’s a good chance they could be causing irritation.
What should you do then? What can you buy?
Using castille soaps (oil based soaps) as a base soap to mix with distilled water at home is a start. However, if you don’t want to (very easily) produce your own you can look for commercial brands like this. If you check out your local health food or supplement store they will likely carry a version of this. If you check out my book PFAPA & Other Periodic Fever Syndromes I provide you with recipes to make your own.
Think about it. Your skin is touching your clothes all day and all night long. Your skin is exposed to any residue or chemicals left behind in your detergent. Commercial brands, even the “free and clear,” still have chemicals that can cause skin irritation.
Looking for pre-made versions in your local store will help with this. But I highly recommend using soap nuts. These are nuts you can buy in bulk. They are placed in a muslin pouch (comes with the nuts when you buy them). They are soaked and then placed in the laundry. They are organic and chemical free. Even better it only costs about $.03/load of laundry. Not only will you lower irritation but save money! Want to read more about soap nuts? Check out this article.
Not sure if soap nuts are for you? Not sure about store brands? There are other ways to make your own. Check out my book.
Just like you sit in your clothes all day if you come into contact with surfaces in your home you are exposed to chemicals. Counter cleaners, toilet cleaners, sink cleaners, shower and more all have harsh chemicals that can cause skin irritation. They can also cause irritation in the nasal passageway and more!
I provide some homemade and simple solutions in my book. Cleaning toilets and tubs with vinegar and baking soda is amazing. You can add some extra whitening later and disinfection with hydrogen peroxide. Just be sure not to add the peroxide at the same time as your vinegar to preserve the surface coatings. There are simple recipes for spray cleaners in my book as well.
As always, if you look in your local health food store or supplement store, you can find less harsh cleaners for your home.
Body Products – Toothpaste, Mouthwash & Deodorant
Not only is our skin affected by products, but we use a lot of products internally that can cause irritation.
Toothpaste & Mouthwash
If your disease, or your loved ones, comes with mouth sores you know just how debilitating these can be. Commercial toothpaste brands contain cleaning agents that are difficult for dry or sensitive mouths. Healing time on sores can slow or the amount of sores can actually increase if you aren’t using the right products.
My former blog Balance & Disease (archived inside of this blog) has a post to help you deal with mouth and nasal sores. It offers recipes to help you make your own (easy) toothpaste. If you want a commercial brand it also provides recommendations on products that I have used and know to work.
Deodorant is filled with all types of chemicals. They are applied to an area of your body that is meant to be a cleaning and filtration system. They plug it up backing up all the sweat and germs that should be exiting your body.
There are more organic brands of deodorant available as well on the market. You will need to try a few brands to see what works for you and your skin. I make my own. It’s very simple to make. My recipe is in my book. Using simple ingredients like baking soda, coconut oil, and arrowroot powder make a great deodorant. You will not have antiperspirant power. But that is what causes your pores to become clogged and backed up in commercial brands. I can honestly say that after making my own I actually sweat less! That’s right less! I firmly believe reducing those chemicals helped.
These are just a few chemicals you can switch out in your home for safer products. All of these commercial items have chemicals that are known to cause health issues. If you want to create a safer environment for your body you have to start by what you put in and on it.