Most people don’t have an allergy to textile fibers themselves, says New York allergist Clifford Bassett, MD. Instead, contact dermatitis — signs of which include redness, itchiness, and scaliness — stems from additives such as formaldehyde, which is used to make clothing wrinkle-resistant, as well as glues and tanning ingredients. (A textile-dye allergy is a thing, too, but “fortunately dyes wash out over time,” notes Dr. Bassett.)

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