Living With A Spandex Allergy
To say that life is hard for people suffering with spandex allergies is an understatement. Spandex allergies are rare, and so finding quality alternative products for a person with a spandex allergy can be extremely difficult. And although more and more people are coming to realize and understand that latex allergy is a very real and serious occurrence, far less attention has been paid to spandex allergy.
What Is Spandex?
Spandex is a material that is used primarily in clothing manufacture. It is a man-made product, not a product of nature in any true form, which has its base in chemistry.
Spandex, which is also called Lycra, Lycra spandex, or Elastane, is a synthetic that is comprised of a minimum of 85% polyurethane polymer.
What Causes Spandex Allergy?
Chemists and medical professionals have had a very difficult time pin-pointing the causes of spandex allergy. Through testing (primarily a process of elimination, such as eliminating latex as the allergy source), they do know that spandex allergy is a real condition. On the other hand, since it is very hard to know what specifically causes the reactions certain people have to spandex, it is easy to confuse with other conditions and hard to know how to treat a spandex allergy.
What Is The Problem With Spandex?
For most people, it seems that the cause of their spandex allergy is something akin to chemical sensitivity. This is a material made from processing chemical agents, which have been shown to be sensitizing and allergy producing; agents that may remain in small quantities in their unreacted, reaction-producing state. This often means that a person’s spandex allergy will go undiagnosed or will not be categorized as a true allergy (which has immune antibodies present in the bloodstream upon exposure).
Often, spandex allergy presents itself as a skin irritation or contact dermatitis. However, more severe and life-threatening allergic reactions can occur in people with spandex allergy.
At any rate, a spandex allergy—whether properly diagnosed or not—is a severe discomfort at best, and a threat to healthy living at its worst; Any person able to link exposure to spandex with a negative physical reaction should seek alternatives to this product. This is in the best interest of comfort, health, and safety. More natural fibers, such as cotton fibers and clothing products that are free from all types of elastics, are excellent alternatives for people suffering from spandex allergy.
It should be noted, however, that even commercial products that contain no apparent elastics can contain trace amounts of chemicals, latex, and fibers that may be causing the spandex allergy. People with serious spandex allergies may even have a hard time buying clothing off the shelf of mainstream retailers, even when those products appear to be spandex or elastic-free.
To add to the difficulty, labeling requirements do not require manufacturers to disclose certain contents in minuscule, trace amounts but a person with a spandex allergy may react to even that tiny amount. The best alternative for a person with a serious spandex allergy, then, is to buy from a supplier of allergy-free clothing products—one that is familiar with the issues faced by people with spandex allergy, and sensitive to the plight of spandex allergy sufferers.
Spandex allergy is an uncomfortable condition that can be difficult to manage. Once spandex allergy sufferers come to understand the condition, they can begin to find the best resources for dealing with a spandex allergy.
Cottonique provides a perfect solution in its “Nothing But Cotton” range for men, women and children. Some of the products in this range include drawstring boxers and briefs, drawstring brassieres, t-shirts and camisoles. These spandex-free, all cotton garments are made without the use of any elastics.