BLUE JEANS: Allergen Or Not An Allergen?
Blue jeans are a surprisingly common cause of contact dermatitis…and worse! The allergens are the indigo dye used to make the jeans blue as well as the “mordants” used to help the colorant bind to the fabric. The jeans’ cotton fabric isn’t necessarily a culprit, although, with all the chemicals, bleaches, and preservatives used to process fabrics, it’s likely that allergens are present in the fabric, too.
Mordants are metals, many of which are also top allergens. If you have chronic dryness, itching, rashes or darkening on the legs, waist or other areas of contact, try avoiding blue jeans for a while, particularly tight jeggings. New case reports show that regular use of such fabrics over years can, in the highly sensitive, contribute to internal, systemic health problems.
If you think you might have contact dermatitis, ask your dermatologist for a patch test. If they suspect clothing, they may use a specific patch test tray with more allergens related to clothing materials and dyes.
Regularly published reports on the most common allergens by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (based on over 28,000 patch test results, combined), plus other studies. Remember, we are all individuals — just because an ingredient is not on the most common allergen lists does not mean you cannot be sensitive to it, or that it will not become an allergen. These references, being based on so many patch test results, are a good basis but it is always best to get a patch test yourself.
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On the prevalence of skin allergies, see Skin Allergies Are More Common Than Ever and One In Four Is Allergic to Common Skin Care And Cosmetic Ingredients.
To learn more about the VH-Rating System and hypoallergenicity, click here.