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"Why do my hands get red, swollen, and itchy after touching cleaners, such as clorox?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do my hands get red, swollen, and itchy after touching cleaners, such as clorox?


I am a 24 year old female, weighs 110lbs and I am 5'1. I have had asthma my whole life, along with severe allergies that include but not limit, season change, eating certain fruits (like apples, oranges, and pineapples).I have been diagnosed with urticaria and angioedema. By doctor instructions I take two 10mg tab lets of Zyrtek daily, and Benadryl when needed.


The signs and symptoms you are describing: red, swollen, itchy hands after touching cleaners is quite common. In particular, it is common with people who have asthma and allergies because these same people also have sensitive skin that can often be dry, red and itchy, a condition called eczema (another name for it is atopic dermatitis). Touching cleaners can cause these symptoms because cleaners are have chemicals in them that can be irritating and what you are describing sounds like something called irritant dermatitis (ie, an irritation of the skin causing the skin to get red, swollen, itchy and angry). However you have very sensitive skin and likely your skin reacts more quickly as in comparison with other people with less sensitive skin. Both zyrtec and benadryl are anti-histamines which means they can help with the itchy and swollen sensation you experience. The best thing for you would be to avoid touching cleaners with your bare hands and instead where gloves when handling something like clorox. In addition, it is important to keep your skin moisturized, especially in the winter and after showering. If you find that moisturizing, zyrtec and benadryl are not helpful, it is important to see a dermatologist to better evaluate your skin and give you a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If you ever develop difficulty breathing when you have had exposure to something irritating, take a benadryl and go to your nearest emergency room for evaluation.

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