Exposing Rash Culprits?

Have you ever awaken from sleep with a terrible itch on your arms or legs? Perhaps out of the blue you started noticing increased redness and blotchy spots on your skin, followed by an uncomfortable itch. You are not alone. Skin rashes, also known as contact dermatitis, are common, but these rash-causing culprits may surprise you.

1- Alcohol

Yes, drinking too much wine could be causing your skin rash. While alcohol allergies are typically rare, they can be extremely dangerous. An allergic reaction caused by consuming alcohol is more likely a reaction to wheat, barley, rye, hops, yeast, or grapes; however even small amounts could cause symptoms such as hives, eczema, or itchiness on your skin. You can develop an intolerance to alcohol at any point in your life. Next time you get a mysterious rash you don’t know where it came from, you may want to consider if you previously consumed alcohol and what kind.

2- Shellac

No, we are not discussing the shellac nail gel that is popular in spas all over the U.S. This is a resin secreted by a beetle. Sounds gross, right? This resin is processed into dry flakes and then dissolved in alcohol to make a liquid substance that is used as a food glaze and wood finish. Yes, we said food glaze. It is most common in Jelly Beans. How did we find this out? An intense 72-hour allergy test. It is not a common thing anyone would know until there is a reaction such as a stubborn lingering rash.


3- Linalool

Say, what is that? Linalool is a naturally occurring alcohol type substance that is found in over 200 species of plants and flowers. It is harvested and used in scents. Often found in many of the essential oils, candles, and in hair and beauty products. It is also commonly used in soaps, detergents, and cleansing agents. Dermatologists have only recently started testing for allergies to this substance, and are finding many who are in fact having severe allergic reactions. What does this mean for consumers of smell-good products? Going fragrance-free. More and more people are discovering that itchy rash is in fact from one of their daily products and having to make a switch to sensitive skin products. Other names for linalool include β-linalool, linalyl alcohol, linaloyl oxide, p-linalool, allo-ocimenol, and 3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol. Interesting fact, the 2018 LaCroix lawsuit suggests the beverage includes linalool in its composition.

4- Environment

How can your environment be causing that no good, horrible, bad rash? Simple, it could be a scent as mentioned above, or a reaction to pet dander, cleaning products, or allergens living in your carpet or vents. Most environmental reactions are harmless but can make for itchy, red skin. Other culprits can include pollen, mold, dust mites, and even cigarette smoke. Weeks of not being able to figure out why a daily occurrence of red, itchy rash could point to an environmental reaction.