Sensitivities to fabric: Fashion that don’t irritate your skin

Sensitivities to fabric: Fashion that don't irritate your skin

Sensitivities to fabric: Fashion that don’t irritate your skin

Skin irritation is one of the most untouched but common problem.  When it comes to sensitive skin, we do have idea on non-irritating gentle skin care ingredient. But its also smart to select ideal wear for sensitive skin.

As per Lina Kennedy, MD, board certified dermatologist at Corona Del Mar, “Synthetic fabrics are the most common cause of irritation, redness and itching. Synthetic fiber includes rayon, nylon, polyester, rubber and spandex. Natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk are generally aren’t irritating.”

However, it should not require hours of research into the material composition of a garment before a consumer can make a calculated decision on whether or not to buy. But for those skin conditions like textile contact dermatitis ( the official name for skin reactions to fabric), this is a reality. Even if you can discover what a garment is made of, information on what chemical treatments were used in the production process is almost never available. It is often the residue of those chemicals that causes the problems.

So, the main question is how to select the fabric to wear and above all, what can be done to prevent the irritation while you wear them.

There are few hacks that can help you for the situation.

Hacks on sensitive skin while choosing Fabrics

  1. Get a well-made cotton dress that feels good against your skin. Cotton fabrics are usually non-irritating but the problem with them is there won’t be much varieties. Short staple cotton doesn’t have natural elasticity as per Maxine Bedet, the founder of New Standards Institute, a non profit organization that is focused on creating sustainable standards for clothing.
  2. When you purchase, look for OEKO-TEX or blue sign certification and organic cotton, which limits some of the more dangerous chemical used in our clothing.
  3. Make use of hypo allergenic, non-scented, dye free detergents when laundering. Always look for product leveled, “for sensitive skin”.
  4. Be sure to use fragrance free detergent. Fragrance can trigger for flare-up.
  5. Instead of purchase from the mall, contact the local cotton fabric designers. It is comparatively cheaper and affordable.
  6. As the 100% cotton can be expensive, recycled cotton can also be option. But check with the designer if it has been dyed with eco-friendly dyes or low impact dyes.
  7. Always wash your clothes before wearing them. This will help to remove irritating dyes and chemical leftovers that were used during manufacturing.
  8. Fabrics aren’t the only thing to look-out for irritating skin. Make sure to check for any metallic embellishment. Many are made of nickel. It is one of major cause for itchy, red, bumpy skin. When in doubt, avoid metallic bling.
  9.  If your wear wool, avoid turtlenecks, as these can irritate the skin on your neck.
  10. Likewise, never wear wool directly on skin; always wear an undershirt
  11. Hemp fabric is one of the best alternative. Hemp protects your skin from UV light.
  12. Hemp fabric doesn’t allow the bacterial growth. Thus, it helps to prevent bad odor.
  13. Hemp has more strength than cotton. It doesn’t get weakened when washed.

Always remember, your skin need to breath as well. Get the comfort first and then only go for style.

Sources for the research;

Vanessa Friedman, The Times’ Fashion director write-up on “Open Thread: On finding styles that don’t irritate your skin”, published in New Your Times on 11th November 2021

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