Tetrasodium etidronate is a substance found in many personal care products that has the potential to cause adverse effects in people with eczema. Tetrasodium etidronates and disodium etidronate are chelating agents that are also used in water softeners and soaps.
Because tetrasodium can be an irritant to the skin and mucus membranes people with eczema should exercise caution before using products that contain it. One reason that tetrasodium etidronate is used in soaps is for its preservative properties. Commercial soaps are required to have no more than two percent of tetrasodium etidronate but even small amounts can trigger eczema symptoms.
People who suffer from eczema should use only products that contain natural substances. Many soaps and other personal care products that are billed as “natural” actually contain tetrasodium etidronate. In fact, many of the soaps sold in health food stores contain tetrasodium etidronate. Always check ingredients before purchasing any personal care product. Check with your holistic practitioner to find out which soaps, if any, are safe for you to use.
Eczema suffers have to be very careful about the soaps they use. In fact, some medical doctors and holistic practitioners recommend that people with eczema don’t use soap at all. They recommend that baths be taken in lukewarm water and excessive time in the bath is discouraged. People with eczema should apply moisturizers immediately after bathing. Moisturizers containing glycerin are highly recommended because glycerin helps the skin to retain moisture. During flare-up moisturizers should be used frequently throughout the day.
In addition to after bather moisturizers, people with eczema are advised to avoid sudden temperature changes. The type of forced air heat that is used during the winter can be very irritating and trigger symptoms. Dry, cracked skin is easily aggravated when the air lacks humidity. For that reason, eczema sufferers should sleep in rooms with humidifiers during the winter months when forced heat is being used.
Foods and substances that may irritate sensitive skin include soaps, bubble baths, perfumes, cosmetics, gasoline, turpentine, wool, pet fur, juices from meats and fruits, plants and jewelry. Personal care products that contain alcohol should also be avoided. Many people find that their eczema symptoms worsen during periods of stress. Some women have flare-ups a few days before menstruation begins. It is important to be self aware and understand what triggers your eczema attacks.
Because tetrasodium etidronate is used in many cleaning agents and laundry detergents, people with eczema should check the labels of these products before purchasing them. Sleeping on bed linens that have been laundered in a detergent containing tetrasodium etidroante can trigger an eczema attack. Work with your holistic practitioner to develop a list of natural products to treat your eczema that do not contain tetrasodium etidronate.
Tetrasodium etidronate: a substance that is used in soaps and other personal care products that can trigger eczema symptoms.
Centers for Holistic Health
American Dermatology Association