Quite a while back, I blogged
about my investigation of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
and how, using the scientific method, I worked out that it was the cause of my mouth ulcers and clammy hands. Before that investigation, I assumed that my skin problems were simply built-in, a genetic property of my body. Since then, by keeping away from SLS in toothpaste, soap, washing-up liquid and other cleaning agents, my hands have been generally bone-dry. It is only when I go to other people's houses or cafes/restaurants etc that my hands become damp again, because even tiny amounts of SLS and related chemicals will cause sweating. Unfortunately, serious air pollution also makes them clammy again, which is very hard to avoid in London! I've found that if I drink from paper cups when out in cafes and stick to non SLS products in the home, I've been able to reduce my mouth ulcer problems to near zero. I do feel guilty that I'm using paper cups but anyone who gets regular mouth ulcers will understand why I've lumped for that wasteful approach. Interestingly, different venues seem to use different strengths of cleaning agent. I always choose a paper cup in Caffe Nero nowadays but I'm okay with crockery in John Lewis.
The reasoning I'm blogging about the subject again, today, is that there is an interesting article
on the BBC website discussing the very matter of SLS and mouth ulcers. The article reports on a double-bind study that did not find a strong correlation between mouth ulcers and SLS toothpaste. I have to point out in response that the study did not factor in a very important element; if you have SLS soap in your bathroom, you'll be putting SLS into your mouth in small amounts even while using SLS-free toothpaste. I've found one has to remove all
SLS products from the bathroom and kitchen to stop the mouth-ulcers; it's that potent a chemical. Fortunately, the BBC article does conclude by recommending that those with mouth ulcers should try SLS-free toothpaste.
The new BBC article references an earlier article
which is also very useful, as that article describes the general effect of industrial detergents on our skin. The explanation supports my conclusion that the skin of my hands went clammy when exposed to SLS and other potent industrial chemicals and pollutants.
I do hope people with mouth ulcers and clammy hands hear about this evidence and try themselves to rid their homes of SLS products; those maladies are no fun to have and they can really ruin your day. Funnily enough, there has been a down-side for me after changing to an SLS-free life. Nowadays, because my hands are generally dry in the home, I have to lick my fingers before holding my guitar plectrum. Because I spent so many years playing guitar with damp hands, I can't get used to playing with dry hands and I have to 'wet them' myself to play properly. Isn't life strange!