7 Common Clothing Choices that May Contain Possible Allergens

In every clothing that people wear, there’s an allergen that might be hiding—inconveniently waiting for the right time to strike. 

Clothes, despite their varying sizes, styles, and usage, all have one purpose to fulfill: they all serve to protect our skin from the world around us. However, with the countless harmful practices beleaguering the fast-fashion industry, a question always pops up in the wardrobe: Can your clothes really keep you from harm? 

Many of us take clothes for granted every day. As long as they look good, people tend to wear them without realizing that some pieces, especially those with harmful materials, can take a toll on their comfort. 

If you're one of those people who continue to have a hard time wearing certain clothes due to the itchiness, irritation, and overall discomfort that they often give, you might be experiencing a condition called Textile Contact Dermatitis

Textile Contact Dermatitis is described as skin manifestations or irritation usually caused by wearing irritating clothing or fabrics that come in contact with the skin. A chemically-treated synthetic fabric often causes this particular condition as the fibers are often mingled with harmful additives developed under bad practices. 

Normally, the rashes and redness caused by this condition clear up in a few weeks and don't need heavy medications. However, if the rash comes back again to give discomfort, you might need to rummage your closet and put aside clothes that irritate your skin. 

If you're wondering what clothes you should scrutinize first, here are the 7 common garments that you should check for possible allergens. 

  1. UNDERWEAR

Unbeknownst to many people, there are cotton underwear brands that incorporate elastics around the waistband and leg openings of their garments. Although the elastics improve the stretchability of every undergarment, using these materials can cause serious irritation to the skin and severe allergic reactions on the body. 

For example, a brief or boxers made with Spandex can make your skin prone to incessant itching and allergic reactions. Spandex, like Lycra, elastane, and other elastic fibers, doesn't have the moisture-wicking ability to fend off the penetration of allergens in the skin. 

Panties made with nylon, on the other hand, also trap heat and moisture, setting wearers up for itching, skin irritation, and yeast manifestation. The inability of polymer fabrics to wick moisture away is the root cause of the discomfort, making your skin a breeding ground for fungal and bacterial infections.

To see our wide selections of hypoallergenic underwear that do not trigger skin allergies and irritate sensitive skin, visit these collections: women's underwear and men's underwear

  1. ACTIVEWEAR

If you ever feel itchy when you work out, chances are your skin might be reacting to the clothes that you're wearing. People with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis often have trouble exercising due to their clothes as most activewear contains rubber-based or plastic-based materials like latex, Spandex, polyester, and nylon.

Nylon and polyester are both lightweight and durable synthetic fabrics. They allow the garments to be resistant against wrinkle, stretch, and shrinkage. However, they are also susceptible to allergic reactions as they are often mixed with finishing resins and chemical solutions. 

While these materials help clothes become stretchy, wrinkle-free, and last long, they all prevent sweat from evaporating, triggering flare-ups and irritation in the process, making them less forgiving to people with skin allergies and sensitive skin. So keep an eye out for workout clothes made without any of the nasty substances to prevent allergies and skin irritation.

For uncompromising protection of your skin allergies and sensitivities when working out, you may also check our athletic collection here.

  1. STRETCH PANTS 

Stretch pants allow people to bend and move their bodies easily. After all, having that extra stretchability improves comfort in all the right places. But when your stretchable bottoms give more discomfort than ease, are they even worth wearing? 

To improve elasticity, most stretch jeans contain Spandex or elastane. These two are the most common types of materials with high stretchability, making the clothes comfortable for movement, light, and easy to maintain. 

While they may look appealing and require little-to-no maintenance, stretch pants are not suitable for people with skin conditions and sensitive skin. And since they usually contain toxic chemicals and synthetic fabrics, wearing stretch pants on a hot summer should be a no-no.

Although cotton bottoms might be an odd choice during workouts, they can still keep your skin protected from flare-ups and irritations, especially when they're made with the right, allergy-free materials. With organic cotton fabric, you will surely sweat less and keep yourself cool when the sun's blazing with our drawstring lounge pants and shorts. 

  • Men's Lounge Shorts 
  • An allergy-free bottom to serve as men’s ultimate must-have for days of winding down, morning workouts, and daily errands. Pair this with your favorite tee and shoes to tackle the summer free from itch and breakouts. 

  • Women's Lounge Shorts 
  • This hypoallergenic piece is made to be the comfiest bottom for women on-the-go, helping them finish their morning workouts and other activities without irritation. Wear this with your go-to shirt and footwear for that fresh, carefree, allergy-free experience.

  • Men's Drawstring Lounge Pants 
  • Here’s to making men look neat and stylish without an itch. Its breathable, comfortable, and oh-so-soft fabric made from 100% organic cotton slips everyone into total comfort from the waist down, making this piece a hypoallergenic bottom that men should have. 

  • Women's Drawstring Lounge Pants 
  • Whether you want to wear something comfortable when sleeping, relaxing at home, or running errands, our hypoallergenic drawstring lounge pants should be a must-have in your closet. Without all the harmful materials like toxic dyes, chemical fabric treatments, and harsh elastics, this allergy-free bottom is known for its right fit, perfect length, and itch-free fabric.

    1. BLACK SHIRTS 

    While it's good to dress simple and minimalist, you should always wear clothes based on comfort and convenience. When you're wearing black clothes, double-check with the dye that they used for that garment.

    Dyed clothes, especially black ones, usually contain a chemical called para-phenylenediamine or PPD. This chemical, although isn't very toxic, is a widely known contact allergen, which means direct contact with human skin should be avoided for they can cause flare-ups, skin irritation, and discomfort. 

    PPD can cause severe skin reactions especially to people who are susceptible to skin allergies. If you are allergic to PPD, then it is best to pick other colors like neutral tones or even just plain white colored clothes. 

    If you're looking for casual, stylish, and hypoallergenic alternatives, try our Cottonique's Picks: 

    Designed to be the go-to polo for all-day wear, this classic top is made more hypoallergenic, all thanks to its unbleached, undyed, and formaldehyde-free 100% organic cotton fabric, sewing thread, and tags. 

    Our newest allergy-free wardrobe staple for men to sport on without triggering skin allergies and irritation. This hypoallergenic top has a smooth texture, all thanks to using 100% chemical-free, GOTS-certified organic cotton clubbed fabric. 

    1. WOOL SCARF, SWEATER, GLOVES 

    It's common knowledge that certain fabrics can trigger flare-ups and irritation on people with skin allergies and sensitive skin. However, not everyone knows that one fabric found in nature can also cause skin problems. 

    Wool (not to be confused with softer Merino wool) is traditionally considered as an irritant that could trigger eczema flare-ups and contact dermatitis. According to Healthline, recent data has shown that a specific component of lanolin may be the actual cause of many people’s discomfort when wearing wool. 

    "They also found wool allergy has increased over the past decade making it more common than first suspected," the medical blog said. If your skin consistently reacts to wool, consider wearing organic cotton instead. Better yet, please consult your doctor. 

    If you're looking for better alternatives to wool, check out our accessories made with 100% organic cotton fabric that feel smooth and gentle without irritating the skin through this link

    1. SOCKS 

    When it comes to footwear, most people are quick to put the spotlight on the shoes they're wearing. And while it’s true that a new pair of kicks bring aesthetic, good looks, and cool vibes, the quality and the material of the socks you’ve put on still matter. 

    Most synthetic socks nowadays undergo chemical treatments, which tend to cause itching, swelling, dryness, and pain to your feet. The chemical treatments these garments undergo, intensified by rubber, dyes, and other synthetics can result in the fabric becoming harmful to people with sensitive skin. 

    To prevent foot allergies and discomfort, make the right decision by ridding your sock drawer of synthetic-made socks and switching to our 100% organic cotton socks.

    1. CLOTHES WITH METAL ZIPPERS, SNAPS, AND BUTTONS 

    If your skin becomes itchy, red, and blistered after wearing clothing or accessories with metal in them, you might be dealing with a skin condition called nickel allergy. Nickel allergy develops when the sensitive skin rubs against items containing nickel. 

    Although some flare-ups only occur after repeated or prolonged exposure to nickel-containing metals, others experience breakouts even during brief contact with them. Aside from various fashion accessories, nickel can also be found in your clothing. Snap fasteners, zippers, buttons, and belt buckles all have nickel in them. 

    If you are allergic to nickel, you may notice that your symptoms worsen during the hotter summer months when you tend to sweat a lot. When you do, it's time to replace nickel-containing garments with hypoallergenic and organic clothes.

  • Men's Long Sleeve Lightweight Jersey Hoodie

  • Our lightweight jersey hoodie keeps you warm and cozy without triggering allergies or irritation, making this the perfect pullover for men with allergic and sensitive skin.

    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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