Signs & Symptoms of Laundry Soap Allergies

By Faith Davies ; Updated July 27, 2017

The perfumes and other chemicals used in laundry soaps can cause an allergic reaction in some people known as contact dermatitis. There are a few basic signs and symptoms of contact dermatitis.


Contact dermatitis may cause a rash made up of tiny red bumps over any skin that has in come in contact with the clothing washed in the laundry soap. From far away, the rash may look like one solid red area with the individual bumps only visible from close up.


Contact dermatitis may cause moderate to severe itching in areas that have come in contact with fabrics washed in the laundry soap. This may occur alongside other symptoms or on its own.


Another type of skin discoloration that may occur from an allergy to laundry soap are dry red patches. These patches often resemble minor burns and are located in areas that have come in contact with the laundry soap through clothing.


Very severe cases of contact dermatitis caused by laundry soaps may result in large, fluid filled blisters. These may be more common when the soap itself is touched rather than clothes that have been washed in the soap.

Untreated Dermatitis

If the skin is repeatedly exposed to the irritant in the soap over an extended period of time, it may become thick and scaly. Long term cases of untreated dermatitis may also cause hair loss in affected areas.


Only a dermatologist or other trained medical professional can accurately diagnose contact dermatitis. Also, contact dermatitis may not show up immediately or after the first contact. Sensitivity to the laundry soap may build up over time before presenting any symptoms.

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