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.


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.

Causes of eczema and dermatitis and how to eliminate them

How to Make Itchy Skin Go Away

Allergic to your clothes? Some helpful advice.

Atopic dermatitis Why it’s so hard to control

Removing “tagless” tags from clothing

Why do blue jeans turn my legs blue and make me itch?

Are your clothes causing an itchy rash?

All Skin Allergy blog posts can be found on my Allergy Comfort Zone Website.

If you have any comments, please make them below.

Beautiful Fall Brings Not So Lovely Allergies

If you have a runny nose and sneezing with watery or burning eyes, you have an allergy. Welcome to the club. It’s not a very exclusive club because over 50 million Americans have allergies or develop them sometime in their life. One of the most common allergies in the Fall is pollen. It can come from grass, weeds or trees. Ragweed is the most common culprit in the Fall.

Besides the usually symptoms of runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes, many people develop seasonal dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is simply your body’s reaction to something touching your skin. A skin allergy can be mild, like a slight rash or It can be more pronounced, with itchy bumps or blisters. Allergic reactions are caused by our body’s natural immune system, the body’s system of white blood cells and antibodies that fight off infection.

In people with allergies, the immune system over reacts to things that aren’t really dangerous. Their immune systems react to certain foods, plants like poison ivy, pollens in the air, metals like nickel, or ingredients in makeup, detergent or shampoo. Nobody knows exactly why this happens, but there seems to be a genetic connection, because allergies tend to run in families.

A rash can be caused by:

• Irritants in the air
• Nickel, often found in inexpensive plated jewelry or white gold jewelry
• Preservatives, including formaldehyde and quaternium 15, which are found in some cosmetics, paints, and household cleaners
• Fragrances in shampoos, detergents, lotions and anti-aging products
• Latex or other materials in rubber gloves
• Cobalt chloride, found in some deodorants. I use Almay hypoallergenic Fragrance-Free Antiperspirant & Deodorant
• Fabric dyes, especially those used on synthetic fabrics.
• Poison (plants or chemicals in cleaning products)
• Certain foods

What to do:

• Many dermatologists will tell you to use-low dose steroid creams. They are fine for very short-term use, like for poison Ivy. I would stay away from them for extended use. I used steroid creams for many years and have permanently damaged the skin on my arms and upper legs. My skin is now thinner and crepey in those areas.

• Avoiding the irritant is the best course of action. Always shower and wash your hair before going to bed. to remove any air-borne allergens from your skin that would transfer to your bedding. Wash your clothes after coming in contact with the allergen. Use a fragrance-free, dye-free detergent, with a double rinse.

• Check labels carefully for ingredients you are allergic to. Be careful of cheap jewelry and white gold jewelry that might contain nickel.

• I also like to use over-the -counter antihistamine tablets, such as an allergy medicines. Consumer Reports recommends: Loratadine 10 mg tablets, Loratadine dissolving 10 mg tablets, Loratadine liquid 10 mg or Alavert dissolving 10 mg tablet. These all contain the same best-selling prescription drug as Claritin (in 2002  loratadine became generic). Antihistamine medicines block histamine from interacting with your skin and nasal tissues.

If you have any other hints please share them with us in the comments below.

Are your clothes causing an itchy rash?

If you have textile dermatitis, you are not alone, more and more people are becoming sensitive to the clothes they wear. Generally, it is not the cloth itself people are allergic to, but the dyes and finishes added to the fibers. Textile dermatitis also can be caused by detergents used to wash your clothes and fabric softeners.

Colored TextilesTextile rashes usually occur at friction points on the body: Under arms, inner elbow areas, behind knees, around waist and inner thighs. Luckily it is usually the areas are hidden by clothes most of the year. The rash can damage the skin to the point that a residual change in texture and color is evident on the skin for several weeks or months after the irritating clothes are removed.

New textile technologies have recently been developed with the goal of giving additional functionality to garments. Textiles have been “improved” to protect against UV radiation, wrinkling, soiling, fading, fire retardancy and many other modern conveniences. All these technologies can cause allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. Certain dyes, especially disperse blue 106 and 124 and some red dyes which are combined in acetate and polyester clothes in all color families except pure yellow and light creams and beige.

Many blue jean brands use a blue dye that gives me a rash. I have read that Levis 501 Jeans use indigo dye which is advertised to be hypoallergenic. Levis 501s do not fit me well so I haven’t been able to test this. I find Eddie Bauer Jeans that do not cause irritation for me.

There are no guideline by the FDA for a definition for hypoallergenic. One is definitely needed for any clothing item, cleaning product or cosmetic that comes in contact with the skin. Sensitive individuals should wear 100 percent natural-based fabrics, such as, cotton, linen and silk. 100 percent silk long-sleeved undershirts and slip pants, and loose-fitting clothing really help. All of these items should be washed three times prior to wearing with a dye-free, perfume-free detergent. Also double rinse all clothes that come in direct contact with your skin.

I do all these things for my textile dermatitis and it really helps. I order 100% silk undershirts and long johns from Winter Silk. They have a full line of styles from very thin and light to heavy weight for winter warmth. I use a dye-free and perfume free detergent like Nellies Washing Soda and Natural Anti Static Dryer Ball for Dryers instead of fabric softener.

See another blog of mine with more information about what to do for rashes and irritating fabrics.  Also I have an Allergy Store on Amazon with lots of products I use and recommend.

If you have found other ways of reducing irritation from textiles, please comment below, I always appreciate comments.

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