Can you be allergic to clothes?

allergic to clothes

Can you be allergic to clothes?

Most of us have gone out for the day in brand new clothes, feeling amazing, only to find our new outfit is horribly itchy. Maybe it’s just because it’s new or because it’s rough material. It’s happened to us all. 

But when our clothes are constantly clawing at our skin, it can get us down. It can feel like no matter what we do, our clothes will always irritate us. If this sounds familiar, then here’s what materials could be making you allergic to clothes.


While many are sensitive to wool clothing, true cases of wool allergy are actually incredibly rare. In fact, many researchers believe wool is unlikely to be an allergen at all. But many people report a runny nose, watery eyes, cough and skin irritation when they wear wool clothing. 

Some believe it may be lanolin that causes the outbreak. This is the protective, waxy layer that covers sheep hair. But again, an actual allergy to this is unlikely.


Many people experience unpleasant symptoms when polyester comes in contact with their skin. Symptoms can include hives, rashes, itching, tender skin, unusually warm skin, and red marks on your legs.

Other non-skin related symptoms can include swelling, difficulty breathing, and tightness or pain in the chest. If you think you might have a polyester allergy, avoid any items that use the material, such as bedsheets, carpets, gym clothing, pyjamas, and clothing. 


You could be allergic to the elastic in your clothing. Elastic is made from rubber and latex. And latex allergy affects around 1 in 1,000 people in the UK. Mild symptoms include hives, itching, redness, or a rash. 

But other symptoms – such as runny nose, watery eyes, cough, wheezing and a scratchy throat – are common too. If you think you have a latex allergy, speak to a professional. While symptoms can be mild, latex allergies can cause anaphylaxis, which can be fatal if left untreated. 

Whether your symptoms are an itch that never goes away or difficulty breathing, no one should have to suffer through an allergy.

Think you may have an allergy? Don’t wait around. Book an allergy test with London Allergy & Immunology Centre. Call us now on 02031 433 449.

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