The Darker Side of Aluminum: Allergen of the Year 2022
Aluminum is everywhere. From food and drinking to packaging materials and clothes, this lightweight and versatile metal has been around for generations, making people's lives easier and more convenient while its dangers loom in the background.
Recognized as the third most common element in the Earth's crust, aluminum has made its way into everyone's hands, finding its way into food, drinking water, cooking utensils, films, packaging materials, medications, cosmetics, toothpaste, antiperspirants, and even clothes.
However, while the benefits that aluminum products provide make life easier and more convenient for millions of people, the threat remains - something that dermatologists need to be aware of. According to the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS), aluminum has earned the title "Allergen of the Year for 2022" for becoming a major cause of allergic reactions.
"These reactions normally present as itchy nodules that can last for months and even years, like some reactions from patch testing," said the ACDS in an article. "There have also been occasional reports of atopic dermatitis from aluminum in antiperspirants, astringents, as well as from the metallic aluminum."
Although aluminum allergies are "not thought to be very common," the allergy may be more prevalent in children and adults. On the other hand, ScienceDaily explained that allergic contact dermatitis from aluminum had previously been considered very unusual. However, there are now reports of pruritic nodules and aluminum allergy arising after vaccinations or treatments for allergies.
"Pruritic nodules are small lumps under the skin that cause itching and which, according to some studies, can remain for several years," they said in their report, emphasizing that new technologies enabled the discovery of aluminum allergy.
WHAT IS ALUMINUM ALLERGY
According to AllergyKB, aluminum allergy is a "rare" skin condition brought by repeated exposure to different types of products that may contain aluminum.
"An individual with aluminum allergic reactions may experience mild to severe distinct signs and symptoms. Itchy red rashes are the main defining sign; the skin is irritated severely, making one scratch it always," AllergyKB reported in an article.
Apart from frequent skin scratching and red rashes, the symptoms of aluminum allergy may also include headache, asthma, insomnia, and even muscle pain.
HOW TO COPE WITH ALUMINUM ALLERGY
It's important to note that just like other skin allergies, repeated exposure to the trigger causes the reactions. If you think you're allergic to products that contain aluminum, determine your sensitivity through skin prick testing.
Detecting the signs and symptoms early is crucial for interventions before they get worse. Also, if you're out buying products in the grocery store, always check the labels or ingredients before bringing them home as they may contain traces of aluminum.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID ALUMINUM IN CLOTHING
Generally renowned for being extremely lightweight, aluminum is a strong material. The Institute of Making even explained that its anti-static properties, combined with its ability to reflect radiant heat and prevent tarnish, make aluminum "perfect for use in protective clothing for demanding environments."
To make these protective clothes, aluminum fibers are made. These silver-white metallic fibers, composed of yarns of parallel filaments of aluminum with numerous applications, are commonly used in manufacturing friction materials.
Although using synthetic fibers makes the garment strong and stretchable to a considerable extent, the elastic and resilient properties you can get from these fibers aren't worth your skin's overall comfort.
Aside from using aluminum for fire proximity suits, many garments also utilize this light and nonmagnetic metal for finishing accessories to clothes such as zippers, buttons, rivets, snaps, clips, pins, and others.
CHOOSE ORGANIC COTTON CLOTHES
Nowadays, clothing contains many different skin allergies and cancer-causing chemicals. It has become standard industry practice for manufacturers over the years to use fabric enhancers like parabens, dyes, bleaches, latex, and other non-organic materials to create garments.
And since most brands are not taking measures to avoid irritants and harmful ingredients, we decided to turn the tides to develop an entirely natural 100% organic cotton clothing that allows people to live easily without the use of synthetics.
Moreover, instead of aluminum or metal finishing accessories, we utilize hypoallergenic alternatives to complement our garments and deliver an irritation-free experience:
- Coco Buttons
Completely natural in origin, these coco buttons are applied to our casual clothes to provide a total allergy-free experience. They're smooth, durable, and eco-friendly.
- Nylon-Coated Alloy Sliders
Durable and hypoallergenic. Made from nylon coated alloy material, these sliders ensure a comfortable fit and allow easy adjustment.
- Plastic Snaps, Buckles, Center Locks
While metal finishings provide a more sophisticated look, plastic snaps, buckles, and center locks are more lightweight and hypoallergenic. They don't rust and offer more protection to people who have allergies to metals.
To completely avoid aluminum in clothing, rid your wardrobe of synthetic-blended garments and choose clothes made from organic cotton, like our Nothing-But-Cotton. Our allergy-free organic cotton collections are made without synthetic fibers and safe processes that don’t trigger skin irritations and flare-ups.
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.