01 Jan Can Your Fashion Choices Affect Your Skin?
Contact dermatitis is a condition where allergic symptoms such as itching are triggered in response to a material or substance that has come into direct contact with the skin. It’s believed to be relatively common, although its exact prevalence is difficult to determine. This is because many cases of contact dermatitis are seasonal, and it’s at this time of year when cases seem to peak. While contact dermatitis is most often caused by irritants, around 20 percent of cases are caused by allergies, including allergies to specific materials that are often worn at this time of year, such as wool or polyester.
In January, when that cold, frosty weather really seems to hit, there’s nothing more comforting than reaching for those heavier synthetic fabrics and woolly jumpers. For people with sensitive skin, these materials can trigger mild allergic reactions, causing itching and redness. It’s because these materials have a very different composition to other ‘smooth’ fabrics like silk or cotton – they’re quite rough materials that can sometimes irritate the skin. It’s not necessarily the itching that’s the problem; it’s that scratching the itch can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dry, flaking, and cracking skin.
The good news is that you don’t need to throw out all those warm winter clothes. Instead, it may be time to start paying more attention to your skin, identifying its needs, and addressing those needs head on. It’s a good idea to moisturise your skin before getting dressed with a product that leaves a protective layer on the surface of the skin, creating a buffer between the skin and the material. A moisturiser that’s also colour free, fragrance free, and SLS free – like AproDerm – is a good choice, because these are specially designed to be gentle on sensitive skin, and reduce the risk of irritation.
Try to remember to moisturise after getting undressed too. Making it part of your routine at this time helps to replace lost moisture in the skin, and helps it to repair itself following any irritation or reactions that have occurred during the day. January should be a time of new beginnings, not uncomfortable scratching!