Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that can affect people in varying degrees. It’s not contagious, but it does have a genetic component (or familial link) and can be triggered by a variety of things. One of the most common triggers for plaque psoriasis flare-ups is soap, especially store-bought soaps that contain artificial fragrances or other harsh chemicals.
Read on to discover six different types of soap that may trigger psoriasis symptoms:
1. Soaps with propylene glycol
These soaps are known irritants that can trigger contact psoriasis. Common symptoms include erythema, dryness, scaling, stinging, burning, and itching. These soaps often contain other ingredients that are also irritants. Propylene glycol is also a known skin allergen, so soaps with this ingredient should be avoided by people with psoriasis or other types of skin allergy. The American Academy of Dermatology does not recommend using any products that contain this ingredient.
2. Antibacterial soaps
Antibacterial soaps are known to trigger psoriasis flare ups. The most common symptoms when using these soaps are redness, itching, and blistering. Triclosan is a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps and has been linked to contact dermatitis (eczema), as well as psoriasis. Antibacterial soap is also known to be an irritant because it tends to be harsh and strip moisture from the skin.
3. Soaps containing methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) and methylisothiazolinone (MI)
Soaps with MCI and MI are known triggers for psoriasis symptoms such as redness, itching, and blistering. Please note that there has been some controversy over whether or not MCI and MI are safe for use in soaps. They have been used since the early 1990s and have been linked to numerous flare ups of both psoriasis and allergic contact dermatitis.
4. Strong fragrance soaps including botanical oils
Soaps with strong fragrances are known to cause contact dermatitis and psoriasis flare-ups in some patients. Some common fragrances that have been linked to psoriasis include lavender, tea tree oil, and citrus, as well as pyrithione zinc and neem leaf extract.
5. Soaps with cocamidopropyl betaine
Cocamidopropyl betaine is a surfactant that’s derived from coconut oil, which can dry and irritate the skin. It is often used in soaps to create a lather. Soaps with this ingredient should be avoided by people with psoriasis or any other type of skin allergy.
Psoriasis can be challenging to live with, but there are topical treatments available. The best treatment will depend on your personal health history and your dermatologist’s or doctor’s expertise. A well-formulated skincare routine is essential for preventing new outbreaks and maintaining healthy skin. This may also include avoiding certain triggering body care products like those mentioned above.