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Author Topic: Itchy Skin and Laundry  (Read 789 times)
Marilee
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« on: March 23, 2019, 11:03:16 AM »

When Uremic Pruritus (itchy skin from broken kidneys) caused my hubby's skin to be in a constant state of itchy rash, the dermatologist had us stop using most soaps, shampoos, detergents, bleaches and fabric softeners. I bought some "wool dryer balls" to replace fabric softeners in the laundry, but still we had considerable static and wrinkles and just said, well, at least his skin's not so itchy (sort of).

Anyway, I'm just posting that this week we started using Downy's Free and Gentle fabric softener, and I'm just glad to have found it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HJNA9W/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_m9MLCb76VX52T . Clothes are coming out without added fragrance, they're less wrinkled, no static. A nice improvement.
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
Alexysis
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2019, 01:15:08 PM »

I find that ANY softener causes me to itch, so I avoid them entirely. Using really good skin cream is the only thing that keeps my itching at bay in the dry winter months, stuff like Eucerin eczema cream (which costs about $10/tube).
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Marilee
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2019, 01:46:48 PM »

Right you are, Alexysis. Eucerin is really good stuff! I have several containers throughout the house :) .
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GA_DAWG
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2019, 04:46:34 PM »

Eucerin Aquaphor is the only thing I have found that helped without burning.
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Marilee
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2019, 06:32:09 PM »

So, now I'm curious: Do y'all find your skin does better with more - or fewer - showers? I had this theory that a steamy sauna would help (by opening up the pores and letting out the waste stuff that the skin seems to be carrying about), but hubby really dislikes heat so we've never tested that idea.
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
rcjordan
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2019, 07:22:05 PM »

Marilee, you might try Eucalan.  I've always had a problem with detergents, particularly bed linens.  We buy the gallon size.

https://www.amazon.com/Eucalan-Rinse-Delicate-Wash-Unscented/dp/B001W93UWS/
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Coastal US, NE North Carolina
2018 right nephrectomy - cancer. Left kidney not filtering, start hemo. After 3 months, start Nxstage home hemo
Marilee
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2019, 08:36:40 PM »

Rcjordan - Thank-you! I did not know there was such a thing as a no-rinse laundry soap with lanolin in it. That seems so efficient and skin-friendly!
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GA_DAWG
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2019, 09:57:20 AM »

Marilee, I have always been one who enjoys a hot shower, and still do. Nothing seems to warm a person up like standing in a hot shower, and I just feel cleaner than in a lukewarm shower. I have a graft in my forearm, and I have noticed that it makes the area around the graft itch though, especially along the scars where the stitches were at.  I know they always tell people to soak their arm in hot water whenever someone clots, but it is kind of hard to do. Instead, I hold mine under a hot shower and llow the water to kind of beat on it, hoping the impact  of the water on the outside  will cause any clots inside to break loose. Don't know if that makes sense or works, just an idea I have.
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Marilee
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2019, 10:11:39 AM »

So, GA_DAWG - Does your skin feel pretty good afterward? I'm wondering if those who take frequent hot showers fare better, skin-wise than those who either shower less frequently or at lower temps.

(ps. I love a hot shower, too. It soothes my achy muscles and wakes me up at the same time.)
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2019, 12:03:02 PM »

So, now I'm curious: Do y'all find your skin does better with more - or fewer - showers? I had this theory that a steamy sauna would help (by opening up the pores and letting out the waste stuff that the skin seems to be carrying about), but hubby really dislikes heat so we've never tested that idea.
So, I'm from an ethnicity that uses the sauna/beating each other with branches as a social outing so, I'm well acquainted with the sauna. However, some points have to considered first before using a sauna and dialysis accesses.

I had a central venous catheter and while I had that, no go for the sauna, by Russian nephrologists. The same was advised to the PD patients. There is a risk of infection for the exit site of the catheter and there is no protocol in place for safe dressing of the sites. The other key consideration is that from sweat mixes with common skin bacteria and bacteria finds a haven in damp hot places. Obviously, anyone it was a different story for someone with a working fistula.
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Marilee
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2019, 03:16:18 PM »

Very good points, Ukrainian Tracksuit. I am not very experienced with saunas, so I appreciate this info.
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
PrimeTimer
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2019, 07:10:36 PM »

When my husband itched we thought it may be the laundry soap and softener. We switched to unscented. But he still itched. Then they tweaked his dialysis, binders and diet. Itching stopped. As an experiment I did a load of wash with the old scented soap/softener. No itching. So in my husband's case the itchiness was a sign that it was diet/dialysis related.
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
Marilee
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2019, 06:20:36 AM »

Hi PrimeTimer! Ya know, that's interesting and helps me understand a bit better. My hubby's rash went away, too, but we don't exactly know when, but we do know that his dialysis got boosted this past summer (adding one more PD cycle and a day long dwell). We were so focused on his other problems (his falls, confusion, nausea...) that we didn't even pay attention to the rash. Golly.
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
cassandra
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2019, 07:44:16 AM »

Hi Marilee, if you ever again have an ichy problem of maybe the softener just use white vinegar. Most ichyness in D is caused by phosphates though (I think)
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I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left

1983 high proteinloss in urine, chemo, stroke,coma, dialysis
1984 double nephrectomy
1985 transplant from dad
1998 lost dads kidney, start PD
2003 peritineum burst, back to hemo
2012 start Nxstage home hemo
       still on waitinglist, still ok I think
Marilee
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2019, 10:22:36 AM »

Hi Cassandra - that's interesting about phosphorus... we had gotten his numbers under control with diet-plus-2-calcium-capsules-per-meal, and then when he went to the day-long dwell last summer, it really went down and they were able to reduce the calcium capsules to just one per meal (which helped his blood calcium levels which had been creeping up).

So that tracks with what you said: I just didn't realize that when he went to the day dwell I could relax a bit about the itchy skin!

Thanks for the tip on white vinegar: It never occured to me that an acid like that would stop static (I'm an old wife! I should know this!!).
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
GA_DAWG
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2019, 09:34:03 AM »

Marilee, I feel good so far as skin after a hot shower, except for the itching I mentioned along the graft. The graft is in my forearm, and to avoid having the hair pulled out by tape every time, I keep it mowed with a trimmer. It seems to itch worse, only after a shower, after it has been a couple of days since it was mowed. I never have figured out if one has to do with the other. I agree that the absolute worst part of a catheter is not being able to shower. Ever since I was a kid, I just do not feel clean unless it is a shower, baths just do not do it, and it needs to be a hot shower at that. There are few things in life more soothing than standing with your head bowed and having hot water run over your shoulders.
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Marilee
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2019, 10:07:48 AM »

Wow, my shoulders started to relax just reading your description of a nice hot shower :D .

Ya know, I have a surgical scar that would itch for decades after the surgery. I think that the nerves got a little messed up just under the scar tissue, so I can understand why the stimulation from the hot water would 'wake up' those nerves under your graft. And it's an itch you can't scratch! Yikes.
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
rcjordan
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2019, 03:30:40 PM »

While on the subject of itchy skin and showering; the best soap for me is Jergens. Ivory will do, but Jergens is better.
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Coastal US, NE North Carolina
2018 right nephrectomy - cancer. Left kidney not filtering, start hemo. After 3 months, start Nxstage home hemo
Marilee
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2019, 03:44:33 PM »

Wow, RcJordan: I didn't even know Jergen's was still available. I haven't seen it in the stores for a long time where I live. But I see that it can be had online! Thanks for the tip.
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2019, 04:02:10 PM »

When it comes to a bath soap to help with dry skin and the itchies I use an old fashion bar of Yardley's Oatmeal & Almond. You can actually feel the oatmeal in it and it helps to exfoliate dry skin. Hubby (the dialysis patient) has no trouble with Irish Spring (original green bar). Smells soo nice on him! I have found other soaps that work but they make the bathtub slippery so be aware of what you use so you don't slip and fall. 
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
UkrainianTracksuit
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« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2019, 02:51:54 AM »

For soaps, I find that L'Occitane has great moisturizing soaps and no subsequent "drying" itch. They are labeled as "extra gentle" and that's right on. The base is shea butter or shea milk but there are scents like natural lavender or verbena, for a twist. (For the girls out there...) Just purchased the cherry blossom soap so, it will be moisturizing, no subsequent itch but still, an enjoyable scent, that doesn't cause skin problems.

The other soap I swear by is Aveda Rosemary and Mint Bath Bar. A lot of people say it is very hydrating but rinses well. It's gentle but has an exfoliating use too, which is sometimes lacking from more gentle soaps. Others say it causes break out outs... but it works for my dry skin now and it worked for my dialysis skin, which had its issues.... 

For me, bathing is an experience and one of those small pleasures of a bad day. I didn't want to miss out on nice products when my skin hated me. And ooh, it did! Still have scars from itching!
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GA_DAWG
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« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2019, 04:16:03 PM »

Marillee, you may be onto something. I have a large horseshoe graft in my forearm. There is a scar at the top and one at the bottom in the U of the horseshoe. It is right at the end of the upper scar that itches the most, and along the arterial side of the graft, not so much on the venous or in the center of the horseshoe.
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Marilee
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« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2019, 05:52:59 AM »

UPDATE: That Downy was bad stuff - for us, anyway. After a couple weeks, my hubby's skin itched more so I stopped using it on his laundry, and this week after I started doing yard work, I broke out in rashes where perspiration and clothing came together. I never had a reaction to any laundry product before, so this was really surprising to me. Thank goodness I posted about it and y'all provided other options to experiment with.
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iolaire
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« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2019, 06:46:57 AM »

We use one of these plastic dryer balls, not this brand, feel free to poke around for other lower or higher cost cost models
https://www.amazon.com/Whitmor-Dryer-Balls-Friendly-Alternative/dp/B007Y2TBI4?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B007Y2TBI4

We made the move solely for worry about all the aromatics and chemicals in the downy like products.  I think we recieved the ball at some sort of confrence probalby given to us to promote the more green function of using a ball.

Once and a while something will still ome out very staticy and that's usually when we have overdried things.
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Transplant July 2017 from out of state deceased donor, waited three weeks the creatine to fall into expected range, dialysis December 2013 - July 2017.

Well on dialysis I traveled a lot and posted about international trips in the Dialysis: Traveling Tips and Stories section.
Marilee
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2019, 08:07:08 AM »

Thanks so much for the link, iolaire. At present, I've got a couple woolen dryer balls, and like your plastic ones, they seem to help in the dryer (I think they mostly keep things from bunching up too much), but still there's static in a few things. At this stage, a little static is fine by me because this itchy skin is way more bothersome :P Maybe I'll just line dry those static-prone items.
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As my hubby would say, "Don't let what you can't do get in the way of what you can."
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