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Any material used in your clothing, no matter how small, has the potential to ruin your comfort.

Colophony, also referred to as rosin, is a sticky natural substance obtained from the sap of coniferous trees such as pines, junipers, firs, and cedars, which gives the material a distinctive smell.

According to Contact Dermatitis Institute (CDI), colophony can be found in many personal care and beauty products, topical medications, surface coatings, lubricants, adhesives, and others. No wonder why people experience skin reactions upon exposure to this substance.

A person may develop an allergy to colophony when their immune system overreacts to exposure to the substance or to products that contain it. When someone with a colophony allergy comes into contact with colophony or its byproducts, their immune system misinterprets the substance which results in an allergic reaction. 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COLOPHONY ALLERGY? 

Symptoms of an allergy to colophony can vary but commonly include:

  • Skin reactions:

Redness, itching, swelling, and rash at the site of contact. This can manifest as dermatitis or eczema.

  •  Respiratory symptoms:

Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness may occur if colophony particles are inhaled.

  • Eye symptoms:

Redness, itching, watering, and swelling of the eyes, known as allergic conjunctivitis.

  • Nasal symptoms:

Sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, itching, and postnasal drip may occur if colophony particles are inhaled.

In extreme cases, an allergic reaction to colophony can result in anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction marked by breathing difficulties, tongue or throat swelling, a sharp drop in blood pressure, dizziness, or loss of consciousness. If you experience anaphylaxis or if someone you know does, please get medical help right away. 

HOW TO AVOID COLOPHONY?

If you suspect that you have an allergy to colophony or have experienced symptoms after exposure to colophony or products containing it, avoidance is critical. You should generally steer clear of products that list any of the following names in the ingredients: 

  • Colophony
  • Disproportionated rosin
  • Colophonium
  • Rosin gum
  • Rosin
  • Wood or pine rosin
  • Tall oil
  • CAS RN: 8050-09-7

While in the European Union, an allergy warning must be placed on the label of every product containing more than 1% colophony. "Because colophony is found in such a wide variety of products, it is important to use ingredient-labeled products that do not list colophony or any of its synonyms on the label," AllergyBestBuys reiterated. 

If you have become sensitized to colophony and need to avoid it watch out for its alternative names on ingredients lists:

  • Abietic acid
  • Abietic alcohol
  • Abietyl alcohol
  • Abitol
  • Methyl abietate alcohol
  • Dercolyte ZS
  • Dermatol 18
  • Dertophene 18
  • Foral 105
  • Granolite SG
  • Staybelite 10
  • Gum rosin
  • Resina terebinthinate
  • Tall oil
  • W-W wood rosin
  • Hercolyn D.

CAN COLOPHONY BE FOUND IN CLOTHING?

Unfortunately, they can. The textile industry frequently uses colophony as a component of printing inks, dyes, and sizing agents, so it can be found in some clothing items. Thus, they can be found in fabrics, particularly ones that have been printed or given specific treatments or coatings. 

Furthermore, this dangerous substance is frequently used as an efficient adhesive component of resins in the textile industry due to its superior adhesive properties. They can be used in a variety of adhesives, including glues and bonding agents. 

If you have a colophony allergy, it is crucial to be aware of any possible exposure sources, including clothing. Your skin may experience an allergic reaction like skin redness, itching, or a rash if you come into contact with fabrics that contain colophony. Individual sensitivity may have an impact on the reaction's severity.

To reduce the risk of exposure to colophony in clothing, follow these 5 helpful tips!

1. AVOID KNOWN TRIGGERS

Skin allergies can be extremely uncomfortable and have a negative impact on one's quality of life. Itching, inflammation, and skin irritation are just a few of the symptoms that can be controlled and kept from returning by avoiding triggers.

People can alleviate these symptoms and encourage healthier skin by reducing their exposure to triggers. Avoid wearing or buying certain products, fabrics, or clothing brands if you have discovered which ones cause your colophony allergy.

2. READ LABELS

Finding potential allergens that might cause an allergic reaction requires a thorough understanding of the ingredients listed on product labels. You should carefully read labels because colophony is present in many personal care items, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and even clothing materials. 

By carefully reading the labels, consumers can find out if a specific product contains any known allergens that may result in skin rashes or other allergic reactions. Look for any references to colophony or rosin-based products on clothing labels.

While it might not always be stated explicitly, some clothing items might mention the use of particular finishes or coatings that might include colophony.

3. WASH CLOTHING BEFORE WEARING

Even if they seem clean, new clothes may have been exposed to different materials during production, packaging, shipping, or handling. Washing new clothing items before putting them next to your skin removes dirt, dust, residues of chemicals, and other potential irritants that may be present on the fabric, ensuring better hygiene and reducing the risk of skin irritation or allergic reactions.

4. CHOOSE NATURAL FABRICS

It is important to note that while people with skin conditions frequently blame their laundry detergent for flare-ups, the fabrics they are wearing may actually be to blame. That’s the reason why we always urge our customers to choose garments crafted from natural fibers such as 100% organic cotton since they have a lower probability of containing colophony compared to synthetic fabrics. 

Usually, synthetic textiles are finished to reduce their flammability, make them waterproof, and make them resistant to creases. And when high humidity and perspiration strike, the residues of chemicals left behind like colophony are released from your clothing, jeopardizing the comfort of your skin.

Since we believe that consumers are often in the dark in terms of knowing what goes into their clothing, we, at Cottonique, made the decision to develop hypoallergenic clothes made without harmful synthetics, toxic chemicals, and harsh elastics. 

Our allergy-free collections, which range from tops and bottoms to masks and other accessories that aid in symptom relief, are made with GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton. No latex, no spandex, and no formaldehyde. 

If you are seeking clothing options that prioritize safety for individuals with skin allergies and sensitivities, explore our collection of allergy-free clothing meticulously crafted from 100% organic cotton. These garments provide a comfortable and synthetics-free experience, allowing individuals to live with ease while maintaining skin health.

5. CONSULT AN ALLERGIST

If you think you may have a colophony allergy or if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction while wearing clothing, always consult an allergist or dermatologist. By seeking the guidance of an allergist, individuals can receive an accurate diagnosis of their colophony allergy, ensuring the implementation of appropriate treatment and preventive measures. 

They can carry out the necessary testing and offer you specialized guidance on managing your allergy. Remember, individual sensitivity can vary, so it's essential to be aware of your own reactions and take necessary precautions to minimize exposure to colophony if you have a known allergy.

TAKEAWAY: Even though these dangerous substances don't frequently appear on tags because they make up a relatively small portion of the entire shirt, they can still cause irritation for individuals with skin allergies and sensitivities. To know more about colophony, read this informative resource from CDI. You may also read: How Eco-Friendly is Cottonique?

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. 

Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers with any questions they may have regarding a medical condition.

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