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Allergy to Soap Powder

By Gail Sessoms ; Updated July 18, 2017

Some people have allergic reactions, such as skin rashes, to soap powder. An allergy is hypersensitivity to one or more substances that the body’s immune system identifies as dangerous. Chemicals are the most likely culprits in soap powder allergies, according to the Kids Health from Nemours website.

Allergic Reactions

When your immune system falsely identifies a substance as harmful, it creates antibodies to protect you against the substance. Your immune system releases histamine and other antibodies into your blood stream each time you come into contact with the substance. Allergic reactions can include runny nose, itchy eyes, breathing problems and the swelling of parts of your body. Some people who are allergic to soap powder develop hives, an itchy skin rash with raised bumps. Allergic reactions to the soap powder and other detergents more commonly cause contact dermatitis.

Contact Dermatitis

Detergents, chemicals, perfumes, fragrances and solvents are common allergens for contact dermatitis, which occurs after direct contact with an allergen. Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin. Irritant dermatitis is a form of contact dermatitis that is caused by contact with soaps, detergents and chemicals. Allergic contact dermatitis causes a rash within one to two days of contact with an allergen. Symptoms are itching, redness, swelling of the skin, rash and skin lesions.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Doctors evaluate a patient’s medical history and past reactions to an allergen to diagnose allergies, according to National Institutes of Health. A patch test is a diagnostic method used to determine if a patient has an allergy to a specific substance. A doctor applies patches of the allergens to your skin and examines the reaction over a period of days. If you have an allergic reaction following contact with soap powder, the National Institutes of Health recommends washing your skin to remove all traces of the allergen. Your doctor can recommend over-the-counter or prescription lotions and corticosteroid skin creams to treat the symptoms.


You can prevent allergic reactions by avoiding contact with allergens. Prevent soap powder and detergents from coming into contact with your skin. Choose products that do not contain the allergens. Hypoallergenic products are helpful for people with hypersensitivity to chemicals. Choosing soap powders that are free of perfumes, fragrances and dyes can also help prevent reactions. Green products intended for environmental protection might be free of the chemicals that act as allergens.

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