Contact Dermatitis

Have you experienced hives, or dry, itchy, red skin in areas that come in contact with your clothes? You may have what is called “contact dermatitis” or “clothing dermatitis”.

Don't fear it as it's harmless, however it is very uncomfortable. This occurs when the skin reacts to the fibers, dyes, resins, or other chemicals used in the process of making clothing.

This is most common with fabrics such as wool, silk, and synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, spandex, or rubber.

To avoid textile dermatitis, you should try to avoid:

  • wearing tight clothing.
  • clothing labeled “wash separately”, “permanent press”, “no iron”, or “dirt-repellent” as they have likely been chemically treated.
  • fabric softeners and fragrances!

Here are some additional tips that can help prevent clothing dermatitis:

  • Wear natural fibers like cotton, linen, bamboo, or hemp.
  • Choose lighter colors. This may sound unnecessary, but they contain fewer dyes.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing in hot/humid environments.
  • Always wash new clothes before wearing them!

 To soothe clothing dermatitis, you can use a cool wet cloth or topicals, however, if your skin does not clear up within a few weeks it is recommended that you see a doctor.

You should see your health care provider if:

  • The rash is so itchy that you can't sleep or go about your day.
  • The rash is severe or widespread.
  • You're worried about how your rash looks.

Note: This is for informational use ONLY- For medical advice or diagnosis, please consult a professional!

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