I'm hoping someone can give me some advice about whether my skin is just really sensitive to materials and chemicals, or whether it's an allergy that I need to worry about. My serious problem is with pants--my skin seems to react to most of what I wear. It's not a typical allergic reaction, from what I've read. I don't get any bumps or hives or anything like that (I have a pretty severe reaction like that once, like six years ago, but not since), but my legs get extremely itchy to the point where I'm almost ripping skin off. I've had that mostly with jeans so far--the only pair I can wear is one that I've had forever that doesn't seem to bother me anymore, but other pairs that I've had just as long are too irritating to wear. I bought some new jeans recently and, because I'd read that manufacturers treat clothes with a lot of nasty stuff like formaldehyde these days, I washed them three times in the fragrance free sensitive skin detergent that I use. They're too irritating to wear for even a few minutes--it's like a prickly scratching against my skin.
That's just the worst that it gets, though. Otherwise, my skin just tends to react with a tickling itching sensation, pretty much no matter what I wear--leggings, cotton slacks. My pharmacist told me to try some Benedryl itching cream, but all of the times I've used it, it hasn't done anything. My skin does tend to be on the sensitive side and my arms and chest have had the same itchy problems, but it doesn't bother me nearly as much.
What you describe could be an allergic reaction or a reaction to an irritant within the jeans, perhaps specific to one manufacturer and not another. In either event,anything that prompts you to want to “rip your skin” is a serious problem and needs to be medically addressed.
The best advice that I can give is that you request data from the manufacturer on what substances are used in manufacturing and processing the jeans and, with that information in hand consult with a dermatologist who could identify the most likely cause and determine whether topical or systemic therapy or perhaps avoidance might be the best strategy.
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