Overuse of abrasive skincare products targeted in rise in eczema

July 3, 2007

London - Research conducted at University College London’s Institute of Child Health suggests that excessive washing with abrasive soaps and skincare products could be to blame for an increase in incidence of allergic diseases such as eczema, BBC News reports.

London - Research conducted at University College London’s Institute of Child Health suggests that excessive washing with abrasive soaps and skincare products could be to blame for an increase in incidence of allergic diseases such as eczema, BBC News reports.

The UCL research team reports in its study that many strong soaps, exfoliant beauty products and biological washing powders are all strong enough to strip away the skin’s protective outer layer, thus allowing allergy-causing particles to penetrate the skin. Those particles are then carried by Langerhans cells to local lymph nodes, where they induce an allergic response that can lead to eczema and other allergic diseases.

The study emphasizes that normal standards of hygiene are harmless and even necessary - it’s the overzealous use of harsh skincare products that can cause problems.

The research was reported in a recent issue of the journal Trends in Immunology.