Frequently Asked Question

During the dyeing process the textile dyes bind to the fibres of the fabric. Sometimes there is a surplus of dye, which is not bound in the fabric’s fibres, and this can bleed onto the skin. Many chemicals are used in the different textile dyes. The chemical dyes that belong to a group called azo dyes are the most allergenic. Azo dyes are used mostly to colour synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon. These dyes are water soluble; sweat can have the same effect, which leads to the dye coming in direct contact with the skin and increasing the risk of developing an allergy.

During the dyeing process the textile dyes bind to the fibres of the fabric. Sometimes there is a surplus of dye, which is not bound in the fabric’s fibres, and this can bleed onto the skin. Many chemicals are used in the different textile dyes. The chemical dyes that belong to a group called azo dyes are the most allergenic. Azo dyes are used mostly to colour synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon. These dyes are water soluble; sweat can have the same effect, which leads to the dye coming in direct contact with the skin and increasing the risk of developing an allergy.

- localized skin rash or itching (generally on the hands)

- hives

- swollen red skin

- swollen lips and tongue with difficulty breathing, wheezing

- shortness of breath

- dizziness

- fainting

- abdominal pain

- diarrhea

- anaphylactic shock

Today many garments are dyed from plants, herbs and even teas. These garments are sold online or in specialty catalogs. Purchasing and wearing clothes that are not dyed with synthetic colors might reduce or eliminate skin rashes.

It will be a process of trial and error to discover which types of clothing will not irritate an individual with clothing dermatitis. 

The simplest way to reduce clothing dermatitis is to remove any clothing that has commercial dyes. Unless a garment is specifically labeled as being dyed with nontoxic dyes, it is likely dyed with much cheaper, synthetic dyes. 

What is an Allergist?

An allergist/immunologist is a physician specially trained to manage and treat allergies and asthma. Becoming an allergist/immunologist requires completion of at least nine years of training. After completing medical school and graduating with a medical degree, a physician will then undergo three years of training in internal medicine (to become an internist) or pediatrics (to become a pediatrician). 

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