Buying clothes when you have allergies


If you are anything like me, buying new clothes, whether it be jeans, shirts, dresses or other usually means that you are going to come home very itchy! I recently went clothes shopping and even just trying on 2 dresses made my body insanely itchy. I often find it takes a good wash before I can wear cloths without them causing hives all over my skin. There are a few chemicals that are often used in textile manufacturing and these can cause skin irritations ranging from mild to severe, for many people. Anytime I go shopping, I always plan to come home right after, as I know only a shower will help me. I also tend to have a lukewarm shower as having a really hot one will open my pores and often leads to more hives and feeling even itchier.

Now, buying used clothes on the other hand has its own challenges as well… If you have very sensitive skin, or are allergic to pet dander then trying on these clothes can also mean a skin irritation or allergy and may even lead to hives or even trigger asthma for some of us. I tend to be very cautious about buying used clothes, and only try on ones from friends who I know don’t have pets. But even at that… What laundry detergents did they use to clean their clothes? Did they use dryer sheets that had fragrance or were the dryer sheets fragrance free? These are all questions many of us ask ourselves. If you have found yourself pondering any of the above, then you deserve a pat on the back. It is extremely important to think ahead. To ask questions.

Do your clothes make you itch?


Colored TextilesIf your clothes make you itch and you get rashes where your clothes rub your skin, you are not alone. More and more people are discovering their clothes are making them very uncomfortable. I have a few suggestions you can use to help make your life more comfortable.

 Causes of textile allergies:

• Dyes, Formaldehyde and N-methylol, fire-retardant coatings, anti-cling, anti-static, moth-proof, mildew resistant, anti-shrink and waterproof finishes. These finishes are being used more and more.
• Remains of detergent, dyes in the detergent and perfumes in clothes can cause irritation.
• Friction from clothing The areas of the body that come in the closest contact with the affected materials are: underarms, inner thighs, inner elbows, around waist and neck.
• Latex from gloves, rubber additives and in elastic.
• Chemicals used to dye and process leather, and glue products.
• Metals, especially nickel in buckles, cheap jewelry and even some expensive white gold jewelry.
• Dyes on inexpensive beaded costume jewelry.

This is a summary of the best solutions I have found so far.

1. Do not buy highly colored synthetic fabric clothes that will touch your skin. Be careful of highly colored natural fabrics also, be sure to wash all clothes at least three times before wearing.
2. Do not buy any article of clothing, especially for babies and children that is: wrinkle resistant, resistant to stains or odors or has fire-retardant coatings.
3. Be especially careful buying underwear. NEVER wear any clothes that touch your skin, even totally white ones, before washing several times.
4. Use special clothes washing detergents that do not have added fragrances or dyes. Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda, 50 Load Bagis my favorite, there are many others available. I also rinse all my clothes twice.
5. Do not use dryer sheets or fabric softeners, I use a Natural Anti Static Dryer Bal like Nellie’s PVC Free Dryer Balls with pretty good success. I also use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser on my machine, it helps to remove detergent residue and softens clothes. Even fabric softeners without fragrance are unnecessary, they just add chemicals to your clothes.
6. When relaxing at home, have special “pure and natural” clothes that you can feel completely comfortable in. Wrinkled, white on white 100% organic cotton, may not be a fashion statement, but I sure feel more comfortable in my special “at home clothes”. I get mine at Cottonque.com.
7. In the winter I wear white or off white long underwear under my dark or brightly colored clothes. I like silk the best, it doesn’t make me look bulky or make my clothes too tight. Wintersilk.com has some great styles. Of course, I notice my silk long johns will turn light blue after wearing them under blue jeans. This dye would normally be deposited on my skin, no wonder blue jeans make me itchy and break out in rashes.

If you have any other hints to help make life us more comfortable in our own clothes, please leave a comment.

Is a food allergy to blame for for chronic skin problems?


If you read this blog regularly you know that I’ve tried eliminating certain foods from my diet to see if any of them were causing an auto-immune response where my skin would be more sensitive to dyes and finishes on clothes and other things in my environment.

Last time I tried eliminating gluten from my diet for 6 weeks. I did not see any difference in my skin. It was very hard for me to eliminate gluten, I found it is in almost everything that is packaged or prepared. I stuck with the diet for the full 6 weeks and didn’t see any change.

I have also tried a dairy-free diet and I didn’t seen a change. This diet was easier for me because I love Almond Milk, and don’t eat much cheese anyway.

Natures Path CerealNow I am wondering what should be the next food to try to eliminate. Soy is a food that is genetically modified quite often and used in many foods, it could be the culprit. Soy is in a lot of things we eat. I eliminated Go Lean Cereal from my diet several months ago because I found out it had a large percentage of GMO Soy.  I really liked Go Lean Cereal so it was hard to find a substitute. I now eat one of the Natures Path Organic Cereals, They taste great, but they are not as high in protein and a little sweeter than I would like.

Maybe we should all try eating all organic foods for a month. Skin problems could be caused by the pesticides in our food weakening our natural defenses and causing autoimmune problems.  You are lucky if you live in a city that has plenty of stores offering organic foods like I do. The problem is they are very expensive. I know organic is better for us, but hate to raise my food bill so much.

I will ponder this problem and decide what step to take next. I will share the results.

Why are more and more clothes irritating our skin?


  
I’ve been allergic to fabric dyes and textile finishes for the last 12 years. Things seem to be getting worse. I’m not talking about my skin condition, but the clothes that are for sale now have more irritating finishes and colors than ever before. More people are getting a fabric allergy and are allergic to their clothes

It’s very hard to figure out what will irritate your skin when buying new clothes. Price really is no indicator of safety. I have found expensive clothes that make me break out from irritation to the dyes and finishes just as I have problems with less expensive clothes. It’s like I have a new clothes allergy. I do find that natural fibers are safer than synthetic fibers. The dyes used in natural fibers are less irritating to my skin. Watch out for fabrics advertised as wrinkle-free and stain resistant, this “benefit” is created by using chemicals as a fabric finish. Many people are allergic to the finishes on new clothes.

I always wash my new clothes three times using a dye-free and perfume-free detergent before wearing them for the first time. I also set an extra rinse on my washing machine for all loads.

Don’t forget your towels and wash cloths. My husband pointed out that we were still using brick-red and navy blue towels, after I knew for sure I was allergic to red and blue fabric dyes.  I now use natural colored natural fiber towels and have less problems.

Try natural fiber clothes from http://wintersilk.com or  http://cottonique.com, The detergent I use is Nellies All Natural Laundry Soda and dryer balls, see my Allergy Comfort Zone Shop for more products I recommend:  http://allergycomfortzone.com/comfort_store.html

Comment below if you have suggestions or questions.

Why are my clothes causing a rash?


Colored TextilesMost allergic reaction to clothes can be traced back to chemical additives and coatings. It’s mind boggling how many irritating  chemicals are used in processing textiles: Rubber materials, formaldehyde resins, quarternium-15, disperse dyes, glues, elastic, tanning agents used to process fabrics & leather and metallic fasteners and other chemicals on clothes. The usual areas of concern for irritation from textiles are areas of the body subjected to friction and perspiration. The areas under arms, behind knees, in upper thigh, inside elbows and a rash around waist are usually the worst.

Disperse Blue 106 and 124 are used in the 100% acetate and 100% polyester blue, black, green and violet liners of women’s clothing . It is rare for men to react to the liner in their trousers, as the liner is usually white, grey or beige. The reaction to these disperse dyes can cause a severe acute eczematous reaction in the affected areas and may become chronic. Sometimes, there is sensitivity to flame-retardant materials added to clothing. Allergic contact dermatitis from the flame-retardants Tris (2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate  and 2,3- dibromocresylglycidyl ether has been reported. Chronic generalized dermatitis that was a reaction to the Basic Red 46 dye in flame-retardant clothing  has been reported. Many flame-retardant clothes are colored using basic dyes. Read more about this: http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/Dermatitis/files/clothing.pdf

New technologies have been developed to protect against UV radiation or to enhance breathability. These new technologies applied to fabrics can also cause allergic reactions and rashes. Most people who have textile allergies react to synthetic materials most often, some people are allergic to wool. When people believe they are allergic to cotton or silk, their reaction is usually to dyes or finishes applied to these natural materials or with the synthetic materials with which the natural fibers are blended.

The term hypoallergenic is used widely, although no Food and Drug Administration–approved definition of hypoallergenic exists. A warning exists for hypo irritating cleansers, cosmetics, moisturizers, and protectants; however, no standard method exists to identify textile products that are used by individuals with susceptible skin (atopic dermatitis, facial skin of individuals with rosacea).

My advice is to:

1. read labels carefully, watch out for wrinkle-free, fire resistant, UV protection, soil repellant fabrics.

2.Wash all new clothes three times in a perfume-free, dye-free detergent or soap like Nellies Washing Soda and rinse two times. See the skin products I recommend including Nellies Washing Soda in my Allergy product Store.

3. Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets or fabric softener, Nellies makes a good one that is PVC-free.

4. Do not wear heavily dyed clothing and stay away from synthetic clothing that comes in direct contact with your skin.

5. Find an outfit or two that does not irritate your skin and designate those clothes for relaxing and exercising. During the work day, wear “safe” comfortable clothes under more irritating highly processed or colored clothes.

6. I wear silk long underwear in white or cream under all my irritating sweaters and trousers. I get my silk underclothes from http://wintersilk.com They have a lot of styles to choose from, stay with the lighter colors to be safe.

Visit my Skin Allergy Comfort Store  to see products I recommend like Nellies Washing Soda.

Information on skin allergies, itching, dermatitis and eczema.


For almost two years, I have written many blogs on skin allergies, dermatitis and eczema. These are my popular posts by far. In this blog post I would like to summarize my blogs to  give you easy  access links to many of my most popular blogs for skin allergies.

Check out a few of  these past blogs of mine:

Help for those with dermatitis and eczema.  http://wp.me/pL8NX-7o

Causes of eczema and dermatitis and how to eliminate them http://wp.me/pL8NX-7f

How to Make Itchy Skin Go Away  http://wp.me/pL8NX-6O

Allergic to your clothes? Some helpful advice.  http://wp.me/pL8NX-6x

Atopic dermatitis Why it’s so hard to control  http://wp.me/pL8NX-4O

Removing “tagless” tags from clothing  http://wp.me/pL8NX-4p

Why do blue jeans turn my legs blue and make me itch?  http://wp.me/pL8NX-3F

Are your clothes causing an itchy rash?  http://wp.me/pL8NX-29

All Skin Allergy blog posts can be found on my Allergy Comfort Zone Website.  http://allergycomfortzone.com/skin-allergies.html

If you have any comments, please make them below.

Allergic to your clothes? Some helpful advice.


I have been writing this blog for one and a half years now. My most popular posts and the most comments I receive are about allergic reaction to clothes, skin irritations from laundry detergents, eczema and contact dermatitis.

This is a subject close to my heart, or should I say skin. I have had problems with textile allergies and reactions to detergents for over 10 years. I have tried all sorts of remedies suggested by doctors and other allergy suffers. A lot of things I tried didn’t work at all. Some of the “solutions”  were worse than the original problem.

Causes of textile allergies:

• Dyes, Formaldehyde and N-methylol, fire-retardant coatings, anti-cling, anti-static, moth-proof, mildew resistant, anti-shrink and waterproof finishes.
• Remains of detergent, dyes in the detergent and perfumes in clothes can cause irritation.
• Friction from clothing The areas of the body that come in the closest contact with the affected materials are: underarms, inner thighs, inner elbows, around waist and neck.
• Latex from gloves, rubber additives • Chemicals used to dye and process leather, and glue products.
• Metals, especially nickel in buckles and some jewelry.
• Dyes on inexpensive beaded costume jewelry.

 This is a summary of the best solutions I have found so far.

1. Do not buy highly colored synthetic fabric clothes that will touch your skin. Be careful of highly colored natural fabrics also, be sure to wash all clothes at least three times before wearing.

2. Do not buy any article of clothing, especially for babies and children that is: wrinkle resistant, resistant to stains or odors or has fire retardant coatings.

3. Be especially careful buying underwear. NEVER wear any clothes that touch your skin, even totally white ones, before washing several times.

4. Use special clothes washing detergents that do not have added fragrances or dyes. Nellies All Natural Laundry Soda is my favorite, there are many others available. I also rinse all my clothes twice.

5. Do not use dryer sheets or fabric softeners, I use a Nellies all natural dryer balls with pretty good success. I also use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser on my machine, it helps to remove detergent residue and softens clothes. Even fabric softeners without fragrance are unnecessary, they just add chemicals to your clothes. Visit my Skin Allergy Comfort Store to see other products I recommend and use.

6. When relaxing at home, have special “pure and natural” clothes that you can feel completely comfortable in. Wrinkled, white on white 100% cotton, may not be a fashion statement, but I sure feel more comfortable in my special “at home clothes”. I get mine at Cottonique.com.

7. In the winter I wear white or off white long underwear under my dark or brightly colored clothes. I like silk the best, it doesn’t make me look bulky or make my clothes too tight. Wintersilk.com has some great styles. Of course, I notice my silk long johns will turn light blue after wearing them under blue jeans. This dye would normally be deposited on my skin, no wonder blue jeans make me itchy and break out in rashes.

Please add your comment. We can all help each other this way.

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