Read the ingredients of nearly any personal care product and you’ll find a long list of unrecognizable additives. And then there’s the variety of items you’d think should be fine and cause an allergic reaction, such as jewelry. Most people seem to be unbothered by the chemicals, but others suffer allergic reactions, including skin rashes and respiratory problems.
People with allergies have to worry about the consequences of nearly everything they buy. One wrong choice can cause an allergy flare-up or side effect they didn’t anticipate. Fortunately, many brands are becoming more receptive to the needs of people with sensitivities by providing allergy-free products. Before you buy, consider what chemicals a product contains — and if it’s the reason behind your ailments.
Before you start looking closer at what products could cause an allergic reaction, it’s a good idea to know what allergy symptoms are like. Some, such as contact dermatitis, hives, migraines, and sneezing are well-known. But other allergy symptoms may surprise you:
- Brain fog: Research has yet to find the connection between allergies and brain fog, but many suspect it may be a result of your body’s histamine release to combat the allergens.
- Feeling tired: As your body puts more energy into fighting the allergy, you may become tired.
- Allergies to foods and products you were never allergic to before: It’s usually due to the toxic overload your body is experiencing, making you more sensitive to allergens that may have not bothered you before.
Nearly every product nowadays contains artificial fragrances. Household cleaners, soaps, candles, and sprays are just a few, and they can affect the air quality of your home, irritate your skin, and even cause damage to fabrics or plumbing. For example, bath bombs contain dyes, glitter, and fragrances that can clog sinks and bother the skin. But worse than skin irritation, the fragrances can cause larger issues.
About 35% of people suffer from respiratory problems or migraines after exposure to fragrances. Next time you’re shopping for deodorant, perfume, household cleaner, or room spray, look for a natural alternative — or forego fragrances altogether. If you’re worried about the consequences of fragrances to your health, hypoallergenic products or those designed for sensitive skin may be a better option.
A good source of natural and alternative products in your local health food store. They normally stock a range of organic and all-natural products. You should still proceed with caution when shopping for candles or personal fragrance products — essential oils may be good alternative fragrances, but certain oils are more likely to cause allergic reactions:
- Tea tree
Not everyone can afford to wear real gold jewelry. Or they may refrain from wearing their favorite gold or silver accessories to safeguard them from theft. But some of the cheaper types of costume jewelry tend to leave black or green marks on your skin. This discoloring is the least of your worries — some people suffer from metal allergies that cause skin issues, muscle, and joint pain, and may even end up related to food allergies.
Nickel is the most common culprit behind metal allergies. Roughly 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to the metal. If you notice swelling, a rash, joint pain, or other allergic reactions, it’s best to avoid wearing jewelry for the time being. For more severe symptoms, it’s best to consult with your doctor or an allergy specialist. Metal allergies are hard to pinpoint and should be diagnosed by a medical practitioner to treat it effectively.
To continue with nickel as an example, it can be found in more than jewelry. It’s also in cellphones, stainless steel cookware, coins, watchbands, zippers, and even food. Chocolate and cocoa products, black tea, legumes, spinach, and a variety of grains may also contain a high level of the allergy-producing metal. Many people who thought they had a food allergy may realize after a blood test that they’re allergic to metals such as nickel.
Other metals to watch out for include chromium and copper. If you’re sensitive to allergies, choose hypoallergenic metals, such as silver and gold, platinum, or tungsten. They’re less likely to cause reactions.
Taking a More Cautious Approach
It may require a bit more work to be conscious of how the items you buy could affect your health, but it has benefits in the long run. People who are sensitive to allergens may see it as a curse. It could actually be a blessing — your body is warning you early about chemicals and products that may cause further illnesses and complications after years of use.
As you turn to natural alternatives for the high-fragrance products and metals around your home, you’re improving your health and reducing your dependence on synthetic additives and chemicals. See the try-before-you-buy approach as an investment towards safeguarding your health in the long run.