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.

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Textile allergies- are you allergic to your clothes?


Allergies to clothing is quite common, the reaction is mostly because of the finishes or dyes used on the fabric. More and more fabric finishes are being used everyday, so more and more people are becoming allergic to clothes. This is a subject that I have been very concerned about for the last 10 years or so when my symptoms started.

Symptoms:
Textile dermatitis is red bumpy slightly weepy skin rash, usually found in the underarm, inner thighs, inner elbows, around waist, behind knees and under tight clothing. It may dry out when it heals and flake or peel. I always tell people it’s like a bad sun burn. Red painful swollen and weepy at first, later becoming dry and itchy. It then peels or flakes and leaves a darkened, “tan” area for weeks/months. Some people can also have itchy, teary eyes and shortness of breath along with the rash.

• Cotton rarely causes an allergic reaction itself, but azo dyes, disperse dyes and formaldehyde resins used to give a non-wrinkle finish may cause sensitization. White or softly colored soft cotton that has been washed many times is a favorite of mine. http://cottonique.com has a selection of very soft untreated cotton items.
• Silk is one of my favorite fabrics, it’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It comes in many different weights for all seasons. Usually the dyes used on silk do not cause allergic reactions. Silk can be layered to protect the skin from more irritating fabrics. I get my silk at http://WinterSilk.com
• Polyester along with acrylic, nylon and spandex can cause irritation that could be because of the material itself or the dyes or finishes used.
• Wool may cause irritation in some people, because of the roughness of the fabric or because of a reaction to the lanolin. Cashmere does not bother me as much as regular wool, I must be a true princess.  What you can do for Textile Allergy….

Visit my Skin Allergy Comfort Store for books and products I recommend.

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