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Surprising Household Irritants

How can you tell what’s causing your contact dermatitis? continued...

If skin is red and swollen or weeping, “You really need to see somebody right away,” Garner says. “It could be an allergy, like poison ivy, but it could be an infection.”

One last bit of startling advice: “You should never use a household cleaning product on your skin,” Garner says. In the movie, My Big, Fat Greek Wedding, the bride’s father used glass cleaner as an all-purpose skin remedy—and yes, Garner has seen patients do the same.

“You’d be surprised how many people do that,” she says. Some of her patients have also attempted to heal various skin problems by dabbing on gasoline. “It’s making it worse, without a doubt,” Garner says.

Reviewed on September 13, 2011

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