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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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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.

The worst time of the year for textile allergy sufferers.


Each Fall, I have problems with my wardrobe. I’m allergic to textile dyes and fabric finishes on my clothes. (see blog link below) In the summer I can wear a short sleeved white top with a well washed white or light bottom (pants/skirts) and look half way normal. When it’s really cold in winter, I can wear colorful sweaters and blue jeans like everyone else, but only because I wear silk underwear under all colored or itchy clothing.It’s the Fall that is the most troublesome for me. Read more about textile allergies on my blog…

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.

Winter Dry Skin and Contact Dermatitis Allergies:


In the winter most of us suffer with dry skin and that seems to make contact dermatitis and eczema worse. We also wear more clothes which in the case of textile dermatitis makes things go from bad to worse to worst. The trick is to try to figure out what you are allergic to and try to eliminate as many irritants as possible. These are some of the things I have learned to avoid.

• Stay away from known allergens such as :  Nickle ( especially in costume jewelry, gold filled jewelry and  and white gold jewelry) , poison ivy and latex.
• Perfumes are a very prevalent irritant for both respiratory and skin allergies
• Dyes, this is a big one for me. I am allergic to red and blue disperse dyes. All colors except pure yellow have at least a little red or blue in them.
• Most cases of homemaker’s eczema (mostly on hands )are irritant contact dermatitis resulting from repeated skin exposure to  irritants, particularly soaps, water, and detergents. detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate in combination produce more irritant contact dermatitis in combination than singly
• Another common irritant to those with allergies are protein hydrolysates, found in many conditioning shampoos, intensive conditioners, and skin creams. These proteins help to quickly add moisture to dry, damaged hair and skin. Unfortunately, they also cause moderate allergic reactions in many people. Therefore, it is best to purchase hypoallergenic products that do not contain protein hydrolysates.
• Textile coatings and finishes- modern clothes are covered in all sorts of helpful finishes and coatings like formaldehyde. Most clothing companies, have no idea what exactly is on their clothes, because the fabric and clothes are made in China or other country with low labor and material costs. Disperse dyes are especially troublesome for many.
• Synthetic and natural fibers. Some people are allergic to synthetic fiber fabrics and others natural fibers like wool and down.
• Pet dander and saliva, many people have problems with pet allergies, keep your pets out of your bedroom and wash any clothes that may have pet dander or saliva on them.
• Bathing in hot water, can deplete the skin of natural oils. Use skin temperature water of 98 degrees or so.
• Use a  perfume-free, dye-free , protein hydrolysates free lotion after bathing to seal in moisture.

Patch testing for contact allergies should include: para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which historically has been considered to be a screening allergen for textile dye dermatitis, is included in most baseline patch test series. Some disperse dyes known to cause contact allergy are included in textile patch test screening series but not in commercially available baseline patch test series. Go to http://allergycomfortzone.com/skin-allergies.html for full blog.

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