Overscrubbing Skin Could Cause Allergies

Overscrubbing could cause allergies.Excessive scrubbing with harsh soaps can strip a protective layer of oil off the skin, leaving the skin barrier vulnerable to allergens, according to the UK's Telegraph.

‘We are not saying that people should not wash, but if they overdo it they can compromise the skin barrier,’ says lead researcher Professor Robin Callard.

In a related story, Medical News Today reports that antibacterial soaps may do more harm than good.

Antibacterial soaps not only kill disease-causing bacteria, but they also kill ‘good bacteria’ on the skin. Most bacteria are non-pathogenic, and they're important for the development of a healthy immune system.

Furthermore, antibacterial soaps may contribute to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Bacteria that develop resistance to antibacterial soaps may also become resistant to antibiotic medications that work similarly.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has questioned the overuse of antibacterial soap: ‘Whether applied to the skin or swallowed, it is still an antibiotic and should not be available without a prescription. Many people, especially parents, unknowingly use these products many times a day on their children. Would they be as willing to give them an oral antibiotic as often? Most people don't realize that the skin is the body's largest organ and is capable of absorbing many substances into the body.’

When it comes to hand-washing and germ reduction, regular soap and water works just as well as antibacterial soap. Just don't scrub too hard!

3 thoughts on “Overscrubbing Skin Could Cause Allergies

  1. rusty74 June 18, 2007 / 9:37 pm

    I have severe allergies in Boston every spring mostly oak, grass and mold. I want to move to Miami Florida and was wondering if my allergies would would be worse the same or better?

  2. Anonymous June 19, 2007 / 7:07 am

    Hi Rusty,

    That's a tough call since you're allergic to both pollen and mold.

    You can check local pollen counts at pollen.com, and you can check pollen and mold counts at the National Allergy Bureau.

    At this time of year, it looks like Boston has more pollen in the air, but Miami has more mold.

    Hopefully you will find some allergy relief due to the lower pollen counts in Miami!

    (I've heard several native Floridians say that they never had allergies until they moved to Atlanta.)”

  3. Mykle November 15, 2008 / 7:03 am

    In a word… Yeppers!<br><br>Florida! The Allergy capital of the world.

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