Believe it or not, newly bought T-shirts causing a rash can be a common consequence of shopping for undergarments. If you’ve experienced infection-like symptoms after wearing certain t-shirts, undershirts or underwear, you may find this information helpful.
Your New T-Shirts Causing a Rash?
This is one of several emails I’ve received from readers who have experienced some form of illness, as a result of wearing certain clothing products.
Note, the clothing item discussed here is a t-shirt. However, it could be any clothing item that touches your skin directly.
Will’s Weird Reaction to the Fabric (or Thread?)
Tug, I just now heard about you.
I need some advice that is actually extremely important.
The past few years or so I have only been wearing Apt. 9 t-shirts from Kohls.
They are ( or were ) the most comfortable shirts I have ever worn, especially for work.
Recently I bought about 15 shirts and updated my closet. Shortly after I had what felt like an infection under my right arm and armpit.
My father who was visiting me also wore some and said the same thing.
I disregarded it as being the shirt but as the condition worsened I looked into it.
Country of Origin?
What I found was that almost none of the t-shirts had the exact label even though they were the exact same shirt.
For instance, some were made in Cambodia, others in Venezuela, Dominican, and so on.
Some had 96% cotton 4% Polyester and some had 60/40 and I know others had different percentages and different materials.
I am almost sure the first few years they were 100% cotton and if so I was hoping you can tell me as to clear up my insanity I am having from stinging and burning sensations in all areas that I just realized are along the lines of the stitching on my shirts including the neck.
Doctors cant find out why, I spent thousands of dollars trying to find out whats wrong but I now believe its the polyester as I feel worse when wearing the 60/40 then the 96/4.
Have you heard of this before?
Also where can I get 100% cotton t-shirts that have a good visual presence and fit like the Apt 9 as I have tried Hanes and Croft and Barrow but they are not nice enough to wear out on a casual day.
Oh and of course tagless as I have or at least now I have extreme sensitive skin.
I have not yet written about
T-Shirts Causing A Rash (or Infection)?
Good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question!
I’m so sorry to hear that you are experiencing this infection-like issue, but I may be able to be of some assistance.
First, it is not the first time I’ve heard of people becoming ill or getting skin issues from certain clothing.
In fact, I’ve heard of two very similar cases.
One case turned out to be Grover’s disease: Grover’s disease: Itchy back & chest
I haven’t yet written about the second case. But it seems as though the person was getting ill when coming in contact with fabrics that contained certain components/chemicals.
He was not able to determine exactly what the “trigger” was, but he is working with a doctor out of Michigan. This doctor is helping him to balance his system so that he doesn’t react from the trigger.
Here is the doctor’s info:
Natural Health Systems
1332 w Livingston Rd
Highland, MI 48357
If you contact the doctor, you can say you got his name from a blogger/writer who was emailing with “blaine m.” about his sickness reaction to certain fabrics.
Questions to Ask If You Have a Reaction to T-Shirts
Do you think you’re reacting to the polyester in the fabric itself, or possibly the content of the stitching?
In some cases, manufacturers use cotton thread to sew shirts. Alternatively, they use polyester thread.
There’s no way to know in advance what type of thread is in your shirts, but there is a way to test it.
Testing Your New T-Shirt
When you buy a white undershirt/t-shirt, take it home and use something like “rit dye” (home dyeing solution) to dye the shirt another color. In order to draw a conclusion about the thread, check the following:
- If the thread stays white or semi-white after the dyeing process, it’s made with polyester thread.
- If the thread changes color to match the dye color, it’s more than likely cotton thread.
I don’t know if have any apt9 t-shirts in my inventory, so I can’t recommend anything specific, but if you’re a member of Costco, you may want to check out their Pima v-neck undershirts.
They’re inexpensive, but very nice for the prices.
Check These 150+ Undershirt Models to Find Your Fit
Also, if you haven’t already done so, you should sign up for my mailing list and after you do that you’ll receive an email with a link to download my undershirt workbook.
It has 150+ undershirts with measurements and fabric content.
You can compare the measurements of your apt9 shirts to the ones in the workbook and see if you can find something similar in size.
Keep in mind, my workbook is comprised of undershirts mostly, not t-shirts.
There are some notable differences between the two. Therefore, you want to make sure you know whether or not you want an undershirt or t-shirt.
How to Find Bargain T-Shirts that Don’t Cause Rashes
Here are some articles to take a look that may help you find a 100% inexpensive t-shirt/undershirt:
I will probably make this email exchange into an article at some point, so if you wouldn’t mind, would you keep me posted on your progress finding a t-shirt or undershirt that doesn’t cause you any skin or infection-like issues?
Let me know (:
Will Visits Dr. Dean Page to Find Out More About T-Shirts Causing a Rash
Coincidentally Will lived in Michigan and fairly close to Dr. Page, so he paid him a visit.
I followed up with him to see what happened as a result of his visit.
Will’s Response to My Follow-up
Yes I went to see him. He is a homeopathic doctor and is almost certain I have pesticide poisoning.
Specifically gesaprim pesticide which I either drank some tainted drink with it or someone deliberately tried to poison me ( I believe it was the new imported tea I recently purchased which tasted horrible).
He gave me some homeopathic drops he made and said give it 5 weeks.
It’s been 10 days so I’m kind of one day good one day not so good but I’m finally having good days and today being the best so far.
I also purchased a few 3-pack 100% cotton fruit of the loom t’s from Old Navy as well as 100% cotton sweats from them too and made a world of difference.
Doctor said the polyester is suspect in making things much worse with sensitive skin.
I have also hired a nutritionist and went gluten and dairy free which he believes is a combination of the pesticide, polyester and food allergies.
I was going to reach out to you in another week or so to see if the meds did the trick but I do truly believe it is a combo of all. And I will keep you updated.
Thank you for the referral.
In spite of all the commonalities about T-Shirts causing a rash, you might want to check your case with your doctor first! Of course, if you want to share your experience here, you are welcome!