Like many of us, Sinead has fully embraced the recent cleaning craze. A hairdresser and mum of two from Birmingham, she is always on the hunt for new products to leave her home smelling fresh.
Sinead contacted me after returning home from holiday:
“Hi lovely. I was hoping you could possibly give me some advice. I have an 18 month old little boy who has severe skin problems. He’s just been on holiday with family and came back with totally clear skin.”
She was beside herself. Within minutes of arriving home, he’d had a flare up. Tell-tale angry red patches of skin began appearing on his legs, torso and arms. The patches cause severe discomfort and the little one was in misery.
She explained, “I think it possibly could be my love of nice smelling cleaning products,” describing how guilty she felt that she could have (unknowingly) been at fault.
Something similar had happened before, during a visit to a restaurant. Whilst placing the tot into the highchair, Sinead and her friend had admired how clean it was. By the time they returned home, he was scratching furiously and his clothes had to be stripped off.
On one occasion, she recalled, he even landed in hospital for 5 days. Doctors think he caught hand foot and mouth, which infected his open wounds. He was very poorly and had to have anti viral medicine every 3 hours.
I suggested she take a look at the products she was using in the home. Was she using anything really strongly perfumed or any products containing “quats”?
What are quats? Short for quaternary ammonium compounds, these are a group of ingredients used in disinfectants and anti-bacs that are added for their germ-killing power. Unfortunately, they can also be responsible for breathing and skin problems. Click here for a full list of what ingredients to look out for when buying cleaning products.
A quick look in her cleaning cupboard revealed the culprit. Whilst Zoflora is usually totally safe if used as directed, it and similar products are not recommended for people with sensitive skin.
Sinead reacted, “I was using it absolutely everywhere! I cant believe how damaging it is and how silly I’ve been to not realise what I was using.”
She agreed to share her story, saying “I just hope that more people can be educated. I think its definitely needed. With the hype around [cleaning products] at the moment with various cleaning accounts, I’d be surprised if there isn’t a rise in contact dermatitis everywhere.”
If you have someone in your home with skin condition, have you tried cutting out quats?
The Secret Cleaner x