Skin allergy - shampoos, shower gels and everything else...

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/12/2008 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, basically im in a little bit of a pickle. After a (pretty severe) chronic reaction to some hair gel a few months back i broke elephant man style- swollen eyes + covered in a terrible rash all over my forehead, neck and back.

Some oral steroids and my own weight in hydro cortisone later im almost clear. HOWEVER, now, no matter what i use products-wise i always seem to flare-up- the reaction is at its worst when i use shampoos such as pantene and shower gels like linx, and at its mildest when i use aqeuous cream as a soap and facewash. But, even that, (with its new formula containing sodium lauryl sulphate of all things) is not ideal.

Basically i was wondering what advice anyone had for contact dermititis like mine and if anyone could recommend anything to use as a shampoo/shower gel that doesnt contain any irritants. On that note, Dermol, cetraben, oilatum + emulsifying ointment are names that have been floating about in forums- but i wouldnt mind getting a bit of feedback before i buy. Any help or words of wisdom would be brilliant,

Thanks very much,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9607
   Posted 10/12/2008 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Try a google search on Homemade Shampoo's, Just a suggestion.
Ask family and friend for help maybe...
Do you see a dermatologist and they've not made any suggestions?
Go to the doctor as you might need to keep a epi pen handy for emergencies.
I try not to use soap on my face, but clean with cold to warm water.
Wish I could help you out more, sorry!
Nice to meet you, Tom...
Soft hugz
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, Enlarged Pituitary Gland
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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/18/2008 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe you should check out Melaleuca's products. They have an amazing lotion called Renew, it's great for different skin types and conditions. I'm not a marketing executive for them so I'm not trying to sell you, i'm only a customer who loves their products. They have natural shampoos and conditioners and other great products. Good luck to you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4389
   Posted 10/19/2008 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
California Baby makes shampoo/body wash that is completely free of fragrances and other irritants. I have terribly sensitive skin and can use this shampoo just fine.

Another shampoo I do ok with is Giovanni Triple Treat Tee Tree - both the shampoo and conditioner. They are free of the most common irritants, including sodium laurel sulfate (and it's relatives such as sodium laureth sulfate, etc.).

I get the above products at a local health food store. I have no financial connection to any of the products or companies who make them. Good luck,
Chronic Lyme Disease, Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, Anemia, Lymphopenia, intermittant Pancytopenia, chronic malabsorption/malnutrition, etc.; Currently TPN-dependent.
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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/2/2008 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi ,
I am allergic to certain body wash liquids & hair dyes. My doctor told me to use oilatum shampoo, which I find is quite good.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/31/2010 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I suffered from head-to-toe itching for 3 years.  When it started, a little red spot appeared on my face, but this was the only outward sign.  My skin just itched with no apparent rash.  The red spot grew a little and itched terribly so I went to a doctor.  After about 10 seconds of half-glancing in my direction, she prescribed a strong topical steroid (Elidel).  I bought the Elidel and my face cleared up immediately and looked healthier than ever.  KEEP READING...  The generalized itching continued.  I started using "Pure and Natural" soap made by Dial and switched to Burt's Bee's shampoo and conditioner, assuming it was the sodium laurel sulphate that was causing the condition.  My generalized itching went away immediately.  Success!  Except for this: Any time I tried to go off the Elidel, a firy bubbly aweful rash appeared.  3 years and 3 dermatologists after it had begun, I went to a dermatologist determined to wrangle real answers out of her.  She heard me out (first good sign) and then she said with great confident that I had "steroid rosacea."  She said she didn't know what the original cause of the itching had been three years earlier but that the Elidel was like a narcotic for the skin.  It both treats and causes a problem.  The rash that appeared when I would try to go off the steroid was not the original rash coming back, it was a withdrawal symptom from the drug.  She said I would have to go off cold-turkey, that it would take exactly 3 weeks to get out of my system and that after that, if itching or rashes returned we'd have to deal with the cause then.  Turns out Elidel should NEVER be used on the face and should NEVER be used for more than 3 days.  I was on it for 3 years!  I took her word for it and sure enough: 3 weeks of monstrous blistery awefulness all over my face.  And then it was over.  For 2 years I've been rash and itching-free... until about 2 weeks ago and now I itch from head-to-toe again.  Back to square one, wiser this time.  I'm determined to find a naturopath and find the CAUSE of the itching, not just let some doctor hand me so drug for the symptoms.  At any rate, "flyingspaghettimonster", the rash you experience when you go off steroids could be the same thing.  Hope this helps.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4621
   Posted 10/31/2010 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Housemouse has a good story and she's done a lot of research into skin allergy

I can't use any detergent except All Free and Clear. I use only Neutrogena soap and shampoo.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23361
   Posted 11/1/2010 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I find no information anywhere that says Elidel is a steroid. From what I have read is that this is an immune suppressing topical medication (pimecrolimus) to treat atopic dermatitis. Nor have I seen where you can not use it on your face. However, long term usage is not recommended. Wmt, do you happen to have any literature or weblink you can show me so I can do some research on this? I too am on Elidel and have been on it long term - which I am going to have to take a break from it now that I read what it can do (such as cancers and such). Red itchy rash or cancer....I would take the rash any day! :)
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/21/2010 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
CA Baby has changed their ingredients and now use sulfites. ALL the shampoos have toxic chemicals. I cannot use shampoo on my hair.
It surprises me that Dermatologists still can only offer Free & Clear. That didn't work on me either.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 11/23/2010 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I was just searching yesterday for a new shampoo (mine seems to have added almond fragrance to its newest formulation - bleah!). I did come across California Baby, as some folks have already described, and also a product made by Heritage that only has these ingredients, according to ONE website: Water, Olive Oil Soap, Coconut Oil Soap, Lauric Diethanolamine (sudsing agent), and Almond Fragrance.
However, another site listed slightly different ingredients for that same product (some help!), so I'd contact the company to find out for sure about it. Needless to say, with the almond front and center, I won't be using that one myself.


Joan M
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1946
   Posted 11/27/2010 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
i only use dove soap bec. it has 1/4 cleansing creme. i use delsum blue when my head is itchy and keri lotion when i can in the shower. i wear my socks (plain cotton white socks) inside out because the itchy inside part drives me nuts. i use queen helene coocoo butter and a/d creme on arms and feet. i use a/d ointment or vaseline on lips. i am really having fun, aren't i? i only use purex, no dyes, no preservatives and the bounce no dyes/no preservatives thingies for clothes. ezema can drive you nuts. i also take an antihistamine every day and two when it have the itchies.

have a nice day, all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14365
   Posted 11/27/2010 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I use dove soap, too! I perfer tide free and downy free and clear.
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