The Scent Of Eczema

Check your everyday hygiene and household products-shampoos, shower gels, hand washes etc.-and you're bound to find something called linalool in a few. This botanical alcohol is used for fragrance in the majority of scented personal-care products, so you might expect it to be an innocuous ingredient. However, researchers have found a growing number of allergic reactions to this seemingly safe plant chemical.

A recent Swedish study involving patch tests on more than 3,000 eczema sufferers found that over 5% had a reaction when exposed to oxidized linalool. The researchers believe that as much as 2% of the general population could suffer from an allergic reaction, like contact dermatitis, because of linalool.

If you love a product that contains linalool but you're concerned it could be causing an unwanted dermatological response, you may not have to stop using it. Instead, avoid purchasing extra-large packages of cleansers that will have more opportunity to be exposed to air, which leads to the allergy-linked oxidation. Likewise, always make sure that you tightly close the cap on any product containing linalool.