There’s nothing worse than wearing a bra and realising that it’s causing you to have a nasty rash. Since we’re usually wearing a bra for the majority of our day, it’s imperative that we find one that’s comfortable while providing the right amount of support.
Here, we’ll provide you with all the details you need to know about hypoallergenic bras and bra allergies. We’ll give you some recommendations, and provide some tips on minimising bra allergies.
Let’s get started, and read on to find out more!
Can Bras Irritate The Skin?
Most certainly! Bras can often irritate the skin. Some examples of allergic reactions and irritation caused by bras include:
What Causes Bra Allergies?
Starting off with the basics, bra allergies are usually directly related to the construction of the bra. If your body is allergic to the metal or elastic that’s being used, you’ll end up finding some skin rashes around the area.
Some other reasons you could have a bra allergy may be due to formaldehyde in bras which occurs in high friction areas underneath the tight underwire. You can usually confirm this by taking a patch test.
If your bra is too tight, it could also cause rashes that resemble a bra allergy. The same thing can happen if you’re not washing your bra properly.
While these are more exceptional cases, you could also develop bra allergies if you have diabetes or if you’re pregnant. Having diabetes increases your risk for skin infections and dry skin, and the fungus commonly grows under the breasts causing an itchy, red rash in addition to blistering and scaling. If you’re pregnant, hormones and weight gain can also make you more prone to rashes between the breasts.
Allergenic Materials Used in Bras
Bras are usually made of latex and nickel. If you’re allergic to your bra, you could be allergic to either one of these materials. With latex allergies, you’ll most likely develop symptoms such as dryness, itchiness, burning, scaling, conjunctivitis and even lesions of the skin.
For nickel allergies, you’ll develop symptoms such as itchiness, your skin turning red, blisters, and sometimes even bleeding.
While these allergies can sound awful, don’t panic! There are ways to minimise these allergies and we’ll get into the details below.
How to Treat a Rash From Bra Allergies
Have a rash around your bra area? Here are some ways to take care of it properly and expedite the healing process:
How to Minimise Bra AllergiesHere are a few tips to help in minimising bra allergies:
- Use a bra that doesn’t have materials that you’re allergic to.
- Avoid underwire bras that have been exposed to formaldehyde.
- Wear soft, comfortable clothing made of breathable fabrics such as cotton.
- Consider placing a special soft fabric like InterDry between the breasts to reduce itching and friction.
Proper Bra Maintenance
Washing your bra properly will also help in minimising allergies as an unwashed bra can lead to skin irritation. Bras should be free of dirt, sweat and grime so you should be washing them as often as possible – especially if you sweat a lot and are wearing them while playing sports. If you don’t wash your bra, it can cause bacteria and yeast to fester and eventually cause irritation, redness, and a full-on rash.
The best way to wash your bra is with mild detergent in cold water as using harsh detergents may exacerbate the issue. Try not to wash the bra with the rest of your clothing, and it’s best to place your bra in a lingerie bag before washing it in the washing machine. Minimise placing your bras in the dryer as it’ll break the elastic in the fabric.
Top Rated Allergy-Free Bras
If you’re looking to replace your bras, below are some hypoallergenic bras to get you started.
These ranges of bras are great for those with bra allergies as they’re not made with nickel and latex, and some even come elastic-free!
Juliemay Cotton & Silk Collection
Juliemay Lingerie’s cotton and silk collections are AllergyUK accredited as friendly for people with sensitive skins and allergic reactions to synthetic bras. The bra sets are made from Certified Organic Pima Cotton and Pure Silk to bring the most comfortable allergy-free wearing experience. 100% Pure Silk is used for the bra inner layers and the brief crotch, which are luxuriously soft. No Latex. No Nickels. No Elastics touching the skins.
Bali Women’s Passion for Comfort
This gorgeous bra comes in many different colors and is made with 76% Nylon and 24% Spandex. It can be hand-washed, comes with an adjustable closure feature, and has a hidden encased underwire for a more comfortable fit. The silky smooth lining will also make your skin feel pampered.
Choosing The Right Bra (Beyond The Materials)
The following steps will help you in choosing the right bra and ensuring that it’s not too loose or too tight. Tight bras can contribute to skin irritations so it’s important you find one that fits you perfectly.
1. Find out your size
You can do this by measuring your bust size, or getting help from a professional
2. Ensure a good fit
Hook your bra when it’s hanging around your waist. Thereafter, lean forward and pull the bra up from the front before sliding your arms through the straps. When you lean forward, use the opposite hand to pull your breasts into the cup. Then, check the fit and tighten the straps.
It’s important to remember however, that your bra size is not permanent and it can change along with your body so you’ll want to get this checked frequently.
3. Choose the right style
If you’re exercising for example, you’ll want to purchase a sports bra as they’ll provide better support.
4. Other things to take note of
Check that the cups are smooth and the edges lie flat against your chest, the bra band should be snug and low in the back, straps shouldn’t dig into your shoulders, the underwire shouldn’t pinch your skin, and the band shouldn’t be too tight
FAQ’S – You Ask, We Answer
The below are some answers to some of the common questions we’ve received.
Can bras irritate skin?
Yes, there are some bras that can irritate the skin. As mentioned above, materials such as nickel and latex can especially cause rashes. Other reasons may be because the bra isn’t washed properly, it’s too tight or the formaldehyde in the bra is causing high-friction.
Can you be allergic to elastic?
Yes, you can be allergic to the elastic in the bra. If you are, you’d want to purchase a hypoallergenic bra that isn’t made with elastic.
Why does my bra irritate my skin?
There are many reasons why this could be the case. It could be the material of your bra, an improper fit, or consistently rewearing your bra without washing it.
Does spandex contain latex?
No, spandex is a synthetic fiber and is unrelated to latex. Spandex on its own shouldn’t cause a reaction. However, some fabrics may still contain latex threads in addition to spandex threads so you’ll want to contact the manufacturer just to be sure.
Why does my bra leave red marks under my breast?
If your bra is too tight, it could be leaving red marks as your bra is digging into your skin. There’s also a chance that you could be allergic to the materials in your bra.
How do you treat bra rash?
You can speak with your doctor to see if you can get some medication to get it treated. Other things you can do include gently cleaning the area with antibacterial soap and warm water, using antifungal cream, antibiotic ointment or fragrance-free moisturiser.
How to choose the right bra?
To choose the right bra, you’d need to measure your bra size, ensure a good fit, and choose the right style.
We hope that this article gives you a comprehensive overview of both hypoallergenic bras and bra allergies, and you’ll be able to find a bra that best suits your needs!