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Are the products you use making your allergies worse? | Health Smart

From harsh to dangerous chemicals, FOX43 talked to an expert to find out which products you may want to avoid.

YORK, Pa. — Allergy season is here.

What you may not have known though, is that many everyday products you use could be making your allergies even worse. From harsh to dangerous chemicals, FOX43 talked to an expert to find out which products you may want to avoid.

"The skin is the largest organ in our body and it does absorb whatever we put on it," Dr. Flora Stay said. That's why she said it's vital to know what ingredients are in the products you use. She says that specifically looking for products with labels that read "dermatologist approved" is key.

Also, beware of anything that says "all natural," she says. 

"If it was truly natural, you would have to refrigerate it or it would grow mold," Dr. Stay explained. "If you're really prone to a lot of allergies, it's a good idea to see your dermatologist and let them do a patch test."

If you don't want to head to the doctor just yet, here are a few common allergens she says you may want to avoid and why: 

  • Fragrance

Dermatologists say to avoid it because the harsh chemicals can be extremely irritating.

  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate, or SLS

"It's an industrial detergent that's in shampoos, conditioners, mouthwash, toothpaste; it's a foaming ingredient," Dr. Stay said.

SLS can cause dry mouth and exacerbate cancer sores on the skin and scalp. It can be extremely drying and irritating, although it's found in many products we use every day, including shampoo and toothpaste. 

  • Fluoride

Not only can it cause an allergic reaction for some, it can also be very dangerous for little kids. Dr. Stay says if they swallow about a quarter of a tube, it can be fatal. Instead, look for a toothpaste made with xylitol, which is a safe alternative to fluoride.

Two other very common known allergens to avoid include glutens and parabens. Perhaps her best advice though, is simple:

"Be educated as consumers not to go for the label and don't listen to TikTok!"

Dr. Stay also suggested checking out the American Contact Dermatitis Society's Website, where it has a long list of ingredients that dermatologists say to avoid. 

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