Skin too sensitive for bra

Hi,

Over the years, my skin has gotten so sensitive that I can't tolerate wearing a bra!

Part of it is allergies: I'm allergic to black rubber and disperse dyes.

But it goes beyond that.

I can't tolerate spandex, lycra or elastic anywhere on my body. Absolutely nothing stretchy.

Even 5% spandex hurts like the devil.

And even cotton is too rough on my skin. It feels like sandpaper.

I am able to wear a sports bra made of extremely thin spandex 1-2 times week (with breathers in-between) if I coat myself with Cerave Therapeutic Hand Cream twice a day.

As soon as I'm done exercising, I have to remove the bra, shower, and coat myself again.

For special occasions, I can wear a very silky nylon bra with very minimal, very thin spandex -- again, after coating myself up with the lotion.

But on most days, I'm forced to go braless (I'm a 38C), which makes me look and feel like a pasture animal.

Any advice out there?

9 Replies

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  • The only thing I can think of is for you to hunt high and low for a bra that is designed for sensitive skin like yours. Surely there must be one out there somewhere?

  • That's exactly what I've done. There is a firm named Ana Ono that specializes in bras for women who have had mastectomies, but so far, their T-Back would have too much spandex for me. There is another start-up in England that looks promising, but they're not running yet.

    Thank you for the advice, and if you hear of any other companies like those, let me know!

  • Thank you for responding.

    I must tell you, I have tried Cottonique (panties) and although they are supposed to be free of everything that bothers me, there was some kind of material around the legs that hurt like crazy. I know a lot of people have had good experiences with this brand, though. When trying to find a replacement, one firm that custom-makes underwear told me that Cottonique does in fact use elastic with some of their products, and that jibes with my experience.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to write!

  • please go to a doctor and find out what can be given to you to help better, also to find out if you are allergic to anything else ..the correct creams /meds are very important and using a hand cream may not be the solution after all its just for hands there are many aromatherapy solutions out there but before you buy anything else please seek professional help first. good luck

  • Thank you for your caring response.

    I must tell you that I've done all the things you've recommended.

    I've been patch-tested, so I know that I'm allergic to disperse dyes and black rubber.

    Over and above these allergies, I've developed these additional (non-allergic) sensitivities to fabrics, especially in bras, which are up so close against the skin. (Even cotton can feel like sandpaper.)

    I've visited many dermatologists and for the most part they have not been helpful.

    However, the lotion I am using was recommended by a wonderful dermatologist who specializes in eczema.

    Together, we tested out eight possible remedies. It was only this particular lotion that brought results.

    As a result, I can wear an exercise bra once or twice a week or a "special occasion" bra I found that chafes less than all the others. I can wear this up to twice a week, but only if I skip the sports bra Again, I have to lotion up my whole torso before I wear either one of these bras, both before and after.

    The sports bra is made from very thin cotton and the thinnest possible spandex. It's the only sports bra I can tolerate at all.

    The "special occasion bra" has cups made of a very silky nylon that just slides over my skin. The spandex in the bra is very thin and very minimal. (It's actually a maternity bra!)

    Nonetheless, I am constantly searching for new answers.

    That's why I post on forums like this one.

    I'd like to be able to wear a bra every day like I used to.

    Maybe someone online will come up with an answer!

    Thank you again for your concern!

  • I wish you good luck in finding a solution keep us posted and as a previous skin sufferer I do sympathise with you I went to a herbalist who had had fifty years of experience in his field he made up concuctions for me not very nice to drink but they worked in clearing up my problem he also told me to keep off sugars permanently this was specific to me though they treat everyone as an individual I wouldn't go to a chinese practioner though as I did in the past and was told by my dentist that it was efffecting my gums and to stop immediately .. the herbalist I went to was very old and has passed away but I will always be grateful to him .. he balanced my system Im not trying to tell everyone to do this but it worked for me and the more information that's 'out there' than people can meke their own informed decisions.. thats why i am on the forum I still get bouts of Rocesca breakouts as I am in the menopause oh what joy!!!!

  • Try getting a seamstress to make up a bra to fit you specifically that does not use any of the materials you cannot tolerate. These would look similar to Mediaeval or Ancient bras that exist in small numbers, and could be made from linen, silk, flax. The fit is important as there is less give in the fabric (cut on bias and straight in different places to maximise support and fit as required, but far less than the off the shelf designs, which use a lot of elastic to make up for a host of fitting errors.

    A less fitted alternative is of course camisole tops, but they offer much less support than a bra if they are not structured and sized appropriately for that purpose.

    You could also check whether the bra sizing you currently have is correct, as poor support and chafing can result from poor selection of band size and cup (which varies between styles/manufacturers and as the band increases).

  • Thank you for the reply!

    I've been professionally fitted so I know my bra size. I have also tried camisoles, but these too have spandex and they irritate my skin. Also I'm kind of large on top.

    Love the idea about the seamstress, though! All I have to do is find her!

    Again, many thanks!

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