Among the causes of dry skin problems, itchy clothing occupies a top spot. Certain fabrics can cause itchiness and penetrate the skin. Itchy clothing can also deprive the skin of the essential oils, so the skin will become dry and irritated. Detergents or bleaches can also make the clothes itchy. Detecting the problem and eliminating the culprit fabrics or detergents is the way to help this problem.
There are a number of itchy fabrics that are known to cause skin irritation. These fabrics include synthetic fabrics or wool. Cotton is typically a fabric that most people tolerate, but may also cause itchy skin if there are detergent particles on it. The itchy fabrics will irritate the skin and the skin will lose its essential oils, becoming dry.
There are other factors that may make the clothing itchy:
- The detergents used
- Using the dryer
The detergents you use may contain chemicals such as ammonia, phosphorus, phenol or sodium nitilotriacetate, which may remain on the clothes and irritate the skin. Not all chemical ingredients are listed on the labels, and your skin may react negatively to various chemicals. Softeners can also contain numerous chemicals which can make your skin dry.
The negative reaction to the detergents may occur within 30 minutes after being in contact with freshly washed clothes. Watch if your skin becomes itchy or irritated and if so, take a sample of detergent to the doctor for a thorough analysis of the ingredients. If a compound is suspected, the doctor will perform a skin testing or a blood test to determine whether you are allergic to that compound.
Using the dryer may also make the clothes itchy. Bleach is a powerful corrosive and may make the clothes rougher and irritate the skin.
Avoiding Itchy Clothing
Avoiding itchy clothing may not always be easy. While there are a number of fabrics that are very likely to cause itchiness and dry skin, you may find that other fabrics can also irritate your skin. You should test different fabrics and eliminate those that cause irritation. Detergent residue may also make your skin dry, so you should test the materials when they are new or simply rinse them a couple of times in lukewarm water, eliminating most residues from the clothes.
When choosing laundry detergents, make sure you get products that contain mostly natural ingredients. There are a few natural alternatives to commercial detergents, just visit a few health product stores. Softeners may also be made from natural ingredients, but you may avoid softeners altogether. Always make sure to rinse your clothes properly.
If you are using a public washing machine, your clothes may also be affected by the detergent of the previous users, as detergent particles may remain in the machine. If possible, get your own washing machine and a dryer or simply dry your clothes outdoors, using an umbrella cloth dryer.