allergic reaction

Can your clothes make you sick? Yes, and here’s why

Can your clothes make you sick? Yes, and here’s why

At Cottonique, we won't get tired of stressing that wearing the right clothes actually matters.

While organically sourced and produced clothes are made to make you look good and feel good without taking a toll on your comfort, wearing the wrong ones, especially those with chemicals and synthetics, can do more harm than good. 

Many centuries ago, humans walked the Earth naked. From the age-old animal hides, our predecessors then moved to textiles and fabrics for their clothing. However, some of the clothes that people wear nowadays can make you irritated, uncomfortable, and worse, even sick.

In a study conducted by the British Chiropractic Association, they found out that the majority of women have suffered back pain, neck pain, and posture problems due to their clothing, emphasizing that the most popular clothing items can have a "hidden health impact." 

Although it's great to dress up fashionably once in a while to keep up with the trends, your body posture, skin condition, and overall health shouldn't pay the price. Here are the 4 things that people with skin sensitivities should watch out for when rummaging through their closets.

  1. UNDERGARMENTS

With wrong undergarments, anything wrong can also happen down there. Tight underwear, like thongs, may be responsible for urinary and vaginal infections if they contain bacteria. Thongs are often associated with an increased risk of cystitis and vaginal infections due to the transfer of bacteria from the rectum to the vagina.

Physical Therapy Services Freedom also echoed the same notion, highlighting that poorly made bras can lead to shoulder, chest, neck, and spine pain, along with headaches.  Bras, like all undergarments, need to fit perfectly so that your body parts don’t take all the strain.

As we've said before, breasts, without proper support from comfortable fitting bras, are going to end up heading south. Read here to know more why finding bras that provide protection and comfort in your size and shape matters. 

  1. CHEMICAL DYES

The continuing problem with chemicals and synthetic dyes is a well-known issue to us.

We're so immersed in avoiding chemically-processed foods, but we don't realize that our skin can absorb these invisible and harmful substances. If you're wearing a brilliantly colored shirt or dress, there's a high chance that your skin may absorb these chemicals through your pores.

For those with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis, veering away from dyed and treated fibers is the best way to stay allergy-free. When the chemically-enhanced garments rub against the sensitive skin, irritation occurs. They may also disrupt our hormones and perhaps cause cancer, so choose light-colored, organic cotton clothes as they are less likely to contain irritating dyes. To know more about the hazards of synthetic dyes, read our blog here

  1. TIGHT CLOTHING

Keeping up with the fad also has its consequences after all.

Dominated years ago, skinny jeans, the world's most popular leg-hugging pants, have become a closet staple for both men and women. Despite their snug-fitting capabilities, skinny jeans may cause a wardrobe-related health issue when worn too hard.

Due to its compactness, tight pants can compress the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh, cutting off sensation to your upper leg - a medical condition known as meralgia paresthetica

Furthermore, wearing tight clothes and shapewear affects the body’s flow of oxygen, which may cause dizziness, fainting, anxiousness, hyperventilation, and even panic attack. Restrictive clothing restricts oxygen intake since it does not allow your diaphragm to move in a normal, healthy manner. 

Tight garments are not the only ones that can cause aches and pains since using close-fitting belts can also compress a nerve of the thigh. In fact, a news report stated that experts believe wearing a tight belt can force acid into the esophagus, damaging the cells and increasing the risk of throat cancer.

  1. DESIGN

How can a simple design bring potentially damaging effects on our health? A lot. 

While the black and white striped tees bring a classic look, patterned tops and parallel striped clothes may cause discomfort, migraines, and even seizures. 

Researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht found that stripes, just by looking, cause an increase in “gamma oscillations" in the brain, which are associated with headaches and potentially even seizures.

Aside from design, color also matters. Since mosquitoes have intense heat sensors, avoid wearing dark clothes for you not to attract them. Dark colors like black, navy, blue or red absorb heat, so wearing one makes you an easier target for the mosquitoes.  

Lastly, wrinkle-free shirts aren't always problem-free. The so-called wrinkle-resistant or non-iron clothes are more likely to be chemically treated since they contain formaldehyde, Teflon, or brominated flame retardants to keep them looking good. 

To free yourself from the discomfort of chemical exposure on the skin, your best bet is to avoid quick-to-market innovations. Don't shop fabrics that speak "non-iron" or "wrinkle resistant' to avoid nasty breakouts and flareups.

TAKEAWAY: For people with skin sensitivities, certain clothing preferences can trigger many health woes. And while it's perfectly fine to dress for pleasure and look voguish, we should always ultimately prioritize comfort. 

Looking for clothes that prove to be safe and unproblematic? Our organic cotton clothing would be a safer alternative. View our hypoallergenic collections here.

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 your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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