Is Your Dish Soap Dissing You and Your Dyshidrotic Eczema?
A Likely Hidden Cause to Hand Rash

Dyshidrotic eczema… that pesky, itchy, water-filled, blistery rash that keeps you up at night. My friend who is a very wise Dermatological P.A. (physician assistant) not only nailed the diagnoses when my G.P. (general practitioner) failed to but added that mainly women suffer from the rash, especially on their ring fingers; and that it seemingly flares up during times of stress.

     Although I’m sure all of that is spot on, truly, does it not seem weird that this particular skin rash can be so gender-specific? Observing more carefully, I began to ponder what possibly could be the culprit. Times of stress… Do you mean like holidays or basic regular survival with a family? My guess is, although it is the 2020’s and there are exceptions to be considered, much of the cooking and hand-washing is left still to the women of the family.

     What further validates this suspicion is that many women swear by using a lotion barrier to helping them conquer dyshidrotic eczema. That makes an environmental cause, rather than an internal/hormone root, high on the suspect list.

     Although there are many chemicals in liquid dishwashing soap that are cause for concern both healthwise and environmentally speaking, one that seems to make an appearance frequently, even in many so-called “natural” dish soaps, is a chemical by the name of methylisothiazolinone. Methylisothiazolinone is both a known biocide and cytotoxin. Let’s break that down a little further. A biocide in dish soap acts as an antimicrobial/preservative. That possibly sounds reasonable. A cytotoxin is something toxic to cells. Now, this isn’t looking so great.

Possible effects of methylisothiazolinone (MI) on skin:

  • allergy: allergic contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema (1) (2) (3)
  • itchiness
  • crusting
  • ulceration
  • blistering
  • burning
  • redness

Though methylisothiazolinone (MI) is present in most dish soaps, it is also found in shampoo, cosmetics, and, sadly, even baby wipes. (1) And most disturbing, that lotion you are slathering on to help prevent dyshidrotic eczema- it may also be furthering your suffering.           

With other countries such as the European Union banning the use of MI in consumer products and others restricting it, we in the US can at least vote with our dollars. When your “dirty” dish soap runs out, make sure you support the companies that are not on the naughty list. And until then, use some gloves to keep your hands safe any time you are around the soapy waters. If your dyshidrotic eczema improves while eliminating MI products, then you have found your culprit or, at very least a contributor to your disenchanting dyshidrotic eczema.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Methylisothiazolinone free dish soaps include:

Biokleen Hand Moisturizing Dish Liquid

Earth Friendly ECOS Ultra Dishmate Liquid, Free & Clear

Ecover Dish Soap Liquid Zero- 6 pack

*Legal Disclaimer: Above mentioned products did not list methylisothiazolinone in the ingredient list at the time of publishing this article. Please do your own research and confirm true/updated ingredients, per company’s label, following any product safety procedures, warnings, and instructions.


  1. Schlitche, J., Katta, R. Methylisothiazolinone: An Emergent Allergen in Common Pediatric Skin Care Products. Dermatol Res Pract. 2014; 2014: 132564. Published online 2014 Aug 27. doi: 10.1155/2014/132564
  2. Rios Scherrer, M.A., Rocha, V.B., Ceolho Andrade, A. R. Contact dermatitis to methylisothiazolinone. An Bras Dermatol. 2015 Nov-Dec; 90(6): 912–914.doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.20153992
  3. Khanna, S., Reeder, Margo. Vesicular Hand Dermatitis in a Child: Allergy to Methylisothiazolinone. 2016 Sep-Oct; 33(5): e272-e273. doi:

What’s your favorite MI free dish soap? Please post in the comment section below.

Kathryn van Zwieten is a Natural Health & Life Coach, Researcher, Lecturer, Author, Creative Chef, and Executive Director of Healing Harvest, L.L.C. Known as a visionary and entrepreneur, Kathryn fuses her high creativity and passion to bring the education of natural and restorative healing to many.  She inspires others to live a healthy lifestyle, by having learned from her own miraculous healings and those of her children, as she shares the latest scientific truths and giftedly guides others to fill in missing gaps in their own health journey. Helping others achieve their ‘highest human potential’ is her mission. Her favorite question is, “What is humanly possible?”- because she is ready to trail blaze to find out. 

Kathryn’s most passionate areas of interest include human brain development beginning in the womb, biological pathway communication (cellular and relational), mitochondrial restoration, the gut/brain axis connection,
epigenetics/nutrigenomics, genetic SNPs, consciousness and quantum physics.   

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