ALLERGY AND PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS: TOOTHPASTE AND SOAPS

Toothpaste

Flavourings (such as menthol or thymol) and active ingredients in toothpastes can cause reactions. Herbal toothpastes can equally give you trouble. Here are two alternative toothpowders:

• Mix one part salt with two parts sodium bicarbonate. Apply to brush with a little water and use as usual.

• Use sodium bicarbonate on its own in exactly the same way.

If you have young children and want to give them fluoride, you can give it to them in the form of drops made up with distilled water. These are available from dentists or chemists.

For cleaning dentures, mix up the salt and sodium bicarbonate powder as above, and clean the dentures thoroughly with a brush. You can use sodium bicarbonate on its own just as well if you prefer.

Soaps

Use soap sparingly. You only really need it to remove grease or severe dirt.

Two soaps that are tolerated well by people with sensitive skins and other allergies are Kays’ Vegetable Oil Soap (available in Superdrug and most supermarkets), and Simple Soap by Simple (available in most chemists). Most supermarkets also sell their own brand of ‘pure’ soap or ‘simple’ soap. These are worth trying. Beware of fragrance-free soaps and look for unperfumed . Health food stores sell pure olive oil soap. Wash E45 is tolerated well by some sensitive people; ask your pharmacist.

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