Boob Blog: Don’t throw away those Victoria’s Secret bras — buy more!

You may remember that the last time I wrote about my rash issues that I’ve connected to Victoria’s Secret bras, I had a nice chat with some VS staff and they recommended that I go see a doctor to be tested for my chemical/textile allergies. Their position remained that there is nothing wrong with their bras, and that I am merely one of a relatively few number of people who reacts to something in their bras. When I find out what that is, they can then advise me which bras would be safe to wear.

Wait a minute — does that mean they already know which chemicals are in which bras, which, by default, means they know that something in their bras is making certain women break out in horrific breast rashes that itch like poison oak and take weeks to go away?

Hmmm….

Anyway, I told them, I’ll play along. I’ll see a doctor, and that’s just what I did last week. I made an appointment with a leading UC Davis allergist, and explained my situation. First off, he informed me that the skin patch test for textile allergies the VS rep recommended doesn’t exist. Secondly, he said, without the item of clothing that caused the problem, there’s no way to test for what I might be reacting to.

Shit!

Long before I even realized there was a connection between these rashes and VS bras, I’d thrown away the particular bra I’d reacted so violently to, as well as another one that caused a mild reaction — rough, tissuey nipples rather than the full-blown rash. Into the garbage, vile things!

HUGE mistake.

I’ve been advising women who visit this blog to save their bras in zip-lock bags because they may be useful evidence for those with severe allergies to whatever is in those bras — formaldehyde being a prime suspect. You see, there were no bra rashes until VS moved its manufacturing site from India to China and then — bam! — breast rashes started bubbling up all over the place. A CBS news report targeted formaldehyde in the Chinese-made bras. Aha!

So, the story gets a little curiouser, in that VS knows full well about the rashes and they must be concerned about them, given that they contacted me about my blogs — how could my humble little blog possibly get the attention of a multi-national billion dollar corporation? Not only have they read my blog, and they’ve also apparently read the comments, because how they deal with customers has changed. Formerly, if a customer complained of a breast rash related to one of their bras, they advised them to return it and get a full refund at any VS store, no questions asked. Okay, fine, you get your $40 back, but nothing has changed overall.

Just last week, however, a woman commented on one of the Boob Blog posts that she contacted VS and informed them of the breast rash, and they said they’d refund her money, no problem, but then they advised her to throw the bra away.

Whaaaaat? Throw it away?

I find this very odd. There are a couple ways to interpret this. One, they are having too many bras returned that can’t be resold and are tired of filling the dumpster with them. Two, it’s more cost-effective to just refund the money than deal with customers in person. Or three (put on your Tin Foil Conspiracy Hats, please!), they’ve analyzed those returned bras and discovered some sort of nasty chemical presence, and are advising women to throw the bras away so their customers won’t have any evidence to take to a doctor.

Ladies! Hold on to those bras! In fact, go buy more of them! Let’s see if we can figure out which bras are the culprits – a certain fabric? Color? Style? If we have enough of them, we can find a common denominator. So, this is what I intend to do. Go back to my beloved cotton VS bras, partially to see if I can find one that causes the problem and also because I have tried a few other brands, and bottom line is they all suck. The best you can do is find ugly bras that are comfortable. But — who wants to wear an ugly bra? I don’t. The best I could find is JC Penney’s Ambrielle line, and it is tolerable.

So, there’s the irony: We need to buy our VS bras and hang on to the ones that cause the problem. Maybe all of us can find a laboratory willing to receive them to figure out what’s causing the problem.

Oh, one more thing I found out from the allergist is that although there’s no way to figure out which textile chemicals I’m allergic to (well, there probably is a way, but it would be like finding an extremely expensive needle in a haystack), there is a blood test to detect formaldehyde allergy. So, I’m going to go get that, because I still believe that formaldehyde is the issue.

In the end, this rash issue is frustrating, particularly when there is an easy solution: VS could either put warning labels on their bras to alert those with chemical allergies, just like they do with eggs or nuts on food, or they could design a line of clothing made from 100% U.S. grown hypoallergenic cotton. Which I already suggested to them, along with ideas about marketing it and pointed out to them that this is a wide-open market for them. The only hypoallergenic bras on the market are too hideous to wear, unless maybe you’re Amish or something. I would not have them on my body. I’d rather let the girls bounce free than resort to that.

So. Bottom line: If you have “the allergy,” hang on to that bra!! Don’t throw away your only evidence! If you’ve already thrown the bra away or returned it and gotten a refund — go buy another one, and if you don’t react to it, great! But if you do, put that thing in a baggie and contact me!

 

 

 

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222 thoughts on “Boob Blog: Don’t throw away those Victoria’s Secret bras — buy more!

    • So sorry to hear this, Kim. It’s so frustrating, and the options are so few! Stop wearing the bra is the only cure. :/
      Please do not discard the bra, and while it may be tempting to return it, I’m hoping women will put the bras in baggies and see an allergy doctor to see what is in the bras that causes them to react.
      In the meantime – Gold Bond powder worked the best for me to stop the itching, but it will take a couple weeks before it heals if you’ve scratched it a lot.
      Wish I could give you more positive feedback, but at least you know you’re not alone.

      • I am having the same problem purchase like 5 of them in February been wearing them until now I notice my right breast is itchy around the nipple I was not having this problem before so I know its the bras.

  1. I have been wearing VS bras for the last 8 years. I just found 2 old style bras from VS I bought in 2007. They no longer fit me, but I wore both of them for 12 hours each with absolutely no reaction. Those 2 are made in china (not India) but did not cause rash. The model is Body by Victoria Apex Demi bra. From that point on I started buying Body by Victoria full coverage bra and I own about 20 of them. Colors are black, ivory, natural, dark blue, pink and a few flowers print different colors. I react to any of them within 1-2 hours of wearing. The oldest one I have been washed more than 100 times and I have the same reaction to it as the newest one I bought January 2014.

    • No, I don’t wear them. It took years before I started thinking it is the bra. As soon as I found your website I realize it must be the bra. Stop wearing it and the rash was gone in 24 hours. Than I waited 2 weeks, than put 1 of the bra again and within 2 hours got rash again. Stop wearing VS bra again for 2 weeks, no rash. Repeat the cycle to make sure it is the bra. I have plenty of evidence, still not sure what chemical is. I have no allergies, never had an allergic reaction to anything ever! So, no it is not the fabric it must be chemical they put in it. And I don’t consider it allergic reaction because you are not supposed to wear chemicals. That think is burning my skin!

      • Dear Yee, yes, you’ve found the way to detect the problem. And you are right – these chemicals shouldn’t be in our clothing! Be sure to save the bras in a zip-lock bag, You might be able to take them to an allergist and have them tested.

  2. I’ve still got my fancy one Debra. If I weren’t dealing with another few dumb health issues right now I’d probably try to contact an allergist here in Toronto. If anyone reading here is from Toronto and want to work together on this let me know. I’ll also want to test the bra from The Gap which did the same thing to me – so ladies if you’re reading this don’t ignore your symptoms just because it’s not a VS bra – other brands might be going the same route.
    And if your doctor is bad like mine and thinks you just have a fungus, don’t keep wearing the bra, just in case!!

    • You are right, clio44, this could be happening with all sorts of other brands, but VS stands out because they’re the biggest. VS isn’t the only company to manufacture in China, so certainly it isn’t unique to them. They are merely the most visible.
      Also, you raise another excellent point: This allergic reaction is being misdiagnosed because the medical community seems to be unaware of what is going on. It’s not fungus – IT’S THE BRA! If you need proof, it’s simple: Stop wearing the bra, and keep the area as dry and comfortable as possible. I found that Gold Bond powder offered some relief. When it’s all healed (and it may take a couple weeks), put the bra back on. If the symptoms come roaring back – IT’S THE BRA!

  3. I have 2 VS bras with some kind of sticky/rubbery thing on the band that goes around the back. the bras leave angry, painful welts on my skin, just under my arms. i now have several dark stripes for weeks from wearing one of them. i asked VS via FB messenger if they use latex. and it is made in China.

    • Hello Betsy,
      You are among a growing number of VS customers reporting skin issues. VS won’t say a peep about any chemicals, they will only offer to give you your money back. One woman recently reported that VS is telling people to throw the bras away, but I urge you not to do so, and also not to return the bra because the only way we can find out what’s in them is if we keep them.
      Sorry to hear you are in discomfort, and like all the rest of us, disappointed that you can’t wear your favorite bra anymore.

  4. It is very possible it is a nickel sulphate allergy. Especially prominent in women and there is a patch test. Nickel sulphate is found in the underwire of a bra but in other clothing and jewelry items. However, I am pretty sure it is in the underwire of my brand new vs bras. If, it is indeed a nickel sulphate allergy and rash, according to what I have read, this rash will continue for the rest of my life!

  5. I would like to add I purchased Demi/unlined with underwire. The path of the rash follows the underwire only..research: cdn.intechweb.org/pdfs/25244.pdf and dermnetnz.org

  6. Just got off phone with VS and they want the bras. They will refund monies paid. I asked about further compensation to cover doc visit etc. and she said their insurance dept will contact me in 1-3days. This all after survey and questions answered. By the way, bras purchased made in India 6/15. The story continues…

    • Hi Tina… that is wild… they were made in India?? I hadn’t heard of that issue – only bras made in China. It is of course up to you if you send them back, but if you do – you won’t have any evidence.
      As for the nickel sulfate… also new information! Can it cause the rash through the fabric? Have you reacted to it before?
      Please keep me posted on how this goes!

      • Yes, the sending back of the bras concerned me too but that is what they requested. I believe I can have them tested for nickel. The nickel is just a guess at this point based on my investigation. I have no known allergies.
        As I mentioned, the rash follows the path of the underwire. So, as far as I can tell it does not appear to be fabric of the cup itself.
        As for country where these bras were manufactured and date of manufacture, that info can be found on the wing or tag of the bra. VS pointed that out during the survey questions.
        Have not worn a bra for over 24hrs and rash continues to be painful,tender, and itchy with some tiny blisters. Doc appt Friday.

      • Just filed a report with consumer product safety commission or cpsc.org. One of the suggestions was to keep the product for 30 days. Test kit coming and waiting onVS insurance to contact me. Just curious if anyone has also filed a report with cpsc?

      • Debra- Got the test kit for nickel sulfate, tested the bras and all found to be negative for nickel. VS has yet to send pkg for the return of the bras and insurance dept did not contact me.
        Good news, not sensitized to nickel! Bad news cant wear even my older VS bras. Dont know what that is all about. I guess whatever caused the rash will remain a mystery. Did not see doctor but his nurse asked me to try benadryl. Just stopped wearing bras and switched to tank top.
        My rash has cleared up as far as the constant burning, itching, and the few blisters that showed up after I stopped wearing the bras. However, a discoloration of my skin is still very present with occasional flares of redness, itching and burning . I feel a bit resigned at the moment. May still see Doc but not sure what good it will do.

  7. Tina – I tried to do that and couldn’t wade through the phone maze… when I finally got someone, they said the CPSC didn’t handle that sort of thing. So frustrating. Can you please tell me how it goes??? How do you get the test kit?

  8. Tina – So it’s not nickel sulfate… but did they test for formaldehyde? I still think that is the issue. And yes, my experience is that the only remedy is to stop wearing the bras. If you heal up and put them back on, the rash returns immediately. Can you get a test kit for formaldehyde???

    • Good question and I will look into it. I don’t think VS intends to follow through on their commitment so I might as well continue investigating and testing, if possible, the bras. I will keep you informed.

    • Received a letter from Gallagher Bassett who is partnered with VS to “administer their claims”!?! They stated that the statute of limitations expires on 9/16/2018. Interesting.
      Had to reschedule appt due to cold but the rash or at least the redness continues. Some itching and moderate burning.

  9. OK. Most, if not all garments contain formaldehyde resins. Phoned LA Testing and they test for “off gasses” of formaldehyde $300+ and measures in parts per million. LA Testing recommended washing garments which removes most of the formaldehyde because it is water soluble. That’s kind of a catch 22 ie unable to return garment after washing. I am guessing VS would consider an exception if consumer has an allergic reaction even after washing.
    VS contacted me and told me there is no chemicals used in production of product. Still in negotiation with VS regarding medical costs but they remain vague about that which they will cover and there is a “release” involved. CPSC forwarded my complaint to VS and that might explain why I finally got a call from VS.
    Rash continues and thought subsiding when I experienced a flare Fri evening.

    • Maybe is not the formaldehyde than if its washable. Because I have washed all of my VS bras like 200 times, still not wearable. You would ask why I washed so much. Because I was wearing their bras for few years not thinking the bra cause my skin problems. I’m really curious what is it if not some chemical.

    • Hi Tina,
      I didn’t find that washing helped the problem at all. And VS is very cagey about their wording – they will tell you that they don’t use chemicals to manufacture their product. However, I believe that the chemicals are in the fabric itself, which is not something they technically manufacture. it’s all semantics.
      The release – they will probably tell you that you can’t talk about this any more. :/
      The rash… needs a good three weeks to heal.

      • Yep, I am in agreement with the word games. They might as well have said there must be something wrong with me. So, the jest is VS admits nothing but will pay as long as I don’t talk about it. Doc appt in the morning.

  10. Well, Tina – that is exactly their angle. Those of us who have an allergic reaction – there’s something wrong with us. That could be true of any allergy. However, there are so many of us with this allergic reaction (and probably countless more who don’t realize what is going on), you’d think that VS would have more interest in addressing the problem. Personally, I would hope that you would not be silenced in exchange for $50. It’s not worth it. Then you become part of the problem. 😦
    Please let me know how your appointment goes!

  11. I have had a rash for two years. Had everything check, cancer including. Total scare. Last resort , putting my bra in a bag right now. Putting a not made in chin sports bra. And seeing if this rash goes away!!! Maybe this is true VS should consider moving before a rally of women/ like breast cancer supporters get on board! It would ruin their company! I hope it’s not true… But I am gonna find out and in the meantime by daughter, sister mother and friends will do the same. Stopping buying VS, which we buy a ton of.

  12. This is so bizarre. I bought two white bras from VS the tshirt kind w/ no lines. it has a pink insert, they were like two for $45 of something. I broke out in a rash not my back, only my chest and it seemed to spread to my abd. I double washed clothes, changed soaps, shampoos, quit eating certain things, I even gave up my chai thinking that might be it. It itches, burns and I have scabs from this. I think I will take some pics of it to go with the bras. The only thing that has not changed is the bras. I washed the bras before wearing them and have washed them twice since with gentle soap and double rinse and I am still itching like a MOFO. I am sitting here looking like I am practically molesting myself in an effort to relieve the itch. I have been on anti-itch meds, allergy meds and several creams prescribed by the doctor. I was seen three times in one week for this and then I just gave up. Then decided to do the VS bra rash in Google…BAM! I am not going crazy! Thank you, thank you. Now what?
    Melissa R.
    Mpls., MN
    melissarolf@gmail.com

    • Dear Melissa – well, you did exactly what I did… started to suspect that the cause of my misery was the bra itself, discovered the news video and BINGO: it’s the bra. And I always wore the same style of bra, checked the labels and sure enough – the old ones made in India caused no trouble. The new ones made in China – BIG trouble. And there is ONLY one cure for the horrible itching and rash: Stop wearing the bras. And, it will take a few weeks for it to totally heal. I started swapping mine out with Champion sports bras, and that helped. And let me confirm, Melissa, that you are NOT going crazy.
      So, now what? I suggest that you take the bra to an allergy specialist to see what is in the bra that makes you react. I unfortunately was on my own when I figured out it was the bra, and just threw it away. :/ In other words, I threw away my evidence.
      VS will willingly give you your money back, but will either ask that you discard the bra or return it. That means the evidence goes away. I feel women should put these bras in a baggie, and if enough of us hold on to them, we could find a common denominator.
      In the meantime, you have to view yourself as having a severe contact allergy, which, unfortunately, isn’t noticed on packaging labels. So, when you realize you are reacting to something, you must take it off – no matter how cute or expensive it is.
      I’m hoping maybe we will get some media attention about this issue – there are SO MANY coming forward… and I suspect far, far more who don’t realize what is going on and think they have some weird disease.
      Please keep in touch and let me know anything you discover in your search for answers.

  13. Toxic Threads
    The Big Fashion Stitch-Up Is a PDF offered up by greenpeace on clothing manufacturers that use toxic chemicals in their manufacturing process. Some companies are detox or committed to detoxing the process but guess who isn’t? That’s right VS!

  14. I’m so happy I found this blog. I googled itchy reaction to VS bars and bingo! I currently only own two bras, both VS and both purchased late April. The rash showed up on one breast first about 3 weeks ago. Now its both. I thought I had some crazy ring worm or something. Both bras are Demi Dream Angels, one very lacey/decorative, the other very soft material with full coverage. I’m not even sure what to do, I’ve never found a bra that fit so nice…wondering why the rash took so long to appear?

    • I’m not sure what triggers the reaction. In some people, it’s immediate. Others – after awhile. Do you swap those bras out with others? That’s what I did… and then narrowed it down to one particular bra, and get the reaction every time.
      I suggest you get photos of the rash, see your doctor and ask about “contact allergic dermatitis” and then put the bras in a ziplock bag in case they are needed as evidence. We are all on our own with this issue and have to recognize the symptoms and what triggers them. VS will not acknowledge that there is a problem, but will return your money if you take the bras back. But – in doing so, you won’t be able to test them to see what is in them.

      • I still believe it is important to file a complaint with CPSC. It’s important to have a paper trail. CPSC did forward my complaint on to VS and VS passed me on to a firm that handles their customer complaints.
        When I intially contacted VS, I not only made a complaint I asked that they pay the medical bills regarding treatment for the rash. Please follow up with VS and ask to be reimbursed for your medical costs. There has to be a way to organize and bring this issue to the table. In my readings, I have found this issue with VS bras since 2005!

  15. WOW!! I recently purchased VS bras few weeks ago. And for the first time in my life, I broke out in the worst rash ever on my breasts. I wasn’t too sure what was causing this rash until I turned to google. I’m glad I’m not going crazy! I thought it might be the bras, and after reading numerous blogs about this topic, I can finally verify that it is the bras! My rash is so painful! I have plenty of pics of the rash and reaction they have caused me in such short time of wearing them!!!! I would like to get some direction on where I can go from here and what I can do about getting a refund or even how to talk to VS directly. Please keep me posted ladies!

    If anyone would like to see pics for reference, I’m still breaking out in this rash and I haven’t worn them in days. You can email me @ a.tate628@yahoo.com

    Thanks again for this blog!

  16. Oh my God! I think I have finally found out what is wrong with me. I own about 8 VS bras and I couldn’t figure out what was causing my hives and rashes! I assumed I had a nickel allergy and was allergic to the under wire because every time I sweat while wearing one I get a horrible rash underneath my breast. Lately, I have been noticing that I wake up with hives. I thought It was my fabric softener. Formaldehyde?? Are you kidding me?? I am going back to my doctor with my bras for sampling. Is the lawsuit still currently active? I want to find out if I can be a part of it!

    • Eeeyup. Here’s how to find out if it’s the bras: Don’t wear any of them for 2-3 weeks. If the rash goes away… if you’re brave… put one back on and see if you react.
      There is no lawsuit – VS beat the last lawsuit. The problem is this: only some people are allergic to these chemicals, so their position is that it’s not their fault if people have allergies. That said – I still feel they could create a formaldehyde-free product or at least put a content warning on their labels. But VS refuses to do even that because they refuse to acknowledge that there’s a problem.
      In the meantime… we are all searching for a bra we like as much as VS. So far, the options are few and mostly unsatisfying.

  17. I have always worn Victoria secret bras, I always itched a little bit but didn’t think nothing about it? I got a bad rash three months ago and I started washing my bras more frequently. I believe this made it worse I started getting a rash under my breast and around my nipples that itched intensely went to the doctors four times, prescribed anti-fungal medicine, did nothing, steroids, anabiotic’s, allergy medicine, nothing helped?? It started spreading to my underarms, sides of breast and back and the itching was so intense it kept me up every single night. Three months later still itching with welts and scabs? I have looked on Internet and tried every medication, still itching? I came across this article about Victoria secret bras. I am going today to buy a different bra and see what happens I also bought a bra from Ross dress for less and it is also made in China I will save them all !!

    • Hi Linda…. your story sounds familiar. We get this itchy rash, welts… try everything…. can’t figure out what’s causing it, and then slowly realize… it’s the bra! The way to test that out is to stop wearing the VS bras for 3-4 weeks and see if the rash goes away. If it does, and you are brave – put the bra back on. If the rash comes roaring back… it’s the bra.
      In the meantime, none of us on this blog have found a really great alternative. I have worn Ambrielle bras from JC Penney without incident, although they are relatively dumpy, compared to VS. But, dumpy is less painful than itchy.
      And yes, save those bras in a ziploc bag!
      Hope you are feeling better soon!

  18. Hi everybody!
    I have been following this blog since I found out my vs bra is the reason for the rash.Thank you Debra!!! But something else came out recently and I was wondering if it is related. So, 3 months ago (that was few months after stop wearing vs bra) I got a rash on my face called perioral dermatitis. It turns out I have sulfate sensitivity and my shower gel, shampoo and soap were causing the reaction because they contains SLS. Also if I eat or drink something with sulfates like wine my rash will be more red. And I will be very itchy on the same spot on my breasts were I had vs bra rash. Weird but a lot of people with sulfate sensitivity have itchy skin on a particular spot of their bodies. Are any of you have sulfate allergy/sensitivity. I was wondering if sulfates are some how in vs bra, maybe used in the coloring process?

    • Hello Yee, this is the first time I’ve heard someone mention this, but it goes to reason that if you are sensitive to one chemical, you may very well be sensitive to another. The only way to know for sure if sulfates are in the bra would be to have it chemically tested. It may be that there is yet another substance that you also react to.

    • I also have suflates allergies I can drink a glass of wine and my chest looks like im covered in bright red hives and I break out from their bras too just wondering are u allergic to shellfish ?I had 5 mamagrams done cause I thought I had breast cancer cause the rash from the bra Is the same sign for breast cancer scared me everyday they were wrong till I googled and found this page

      • Hello Rachel – I don’t have any allergies as far as I know except to one particular prescription drug. I am very sensitive to perfumes however, but not allergic. As for the mammograms, that’s one of the concerns here – women being alarmed about their health and spending a lot of time and money looking for something in their bodies, when it’s their bra that’s the problem.
        Also, because you’ve had health concerns, please follow up with your doctor and have her/him confirm that you are reacting to the bras.

  19. I have a drawer full of VS bras. My husband bought me two for Christmas. I shuddered to think of trying them on. Sure enough, after a few minutes I started itching. Washing the bra does not help either. The sales associate at Victoria’s Secret asked me if she could help me find a bra. I was up front near the register looking at one and I said, “if you can show me one that will not make me itch”. Everyone got quiet. The sales associate looked at me and after a few seconds said, I am sorry. have never heard anyone say that has happened before”. Just her comment like that made me think otherwise and her quick exit to get away from me.

    • Sonya, I am certain the VS employees, who are probably desperate to hang on to their jobs, are ORDERED not to say anything about the many women coming forward with breast rashes after wearing their bras. The company’s stance is to stonewall: There is nothing wrong with their bras, and IF there is a problem, it is a small minority of “defective” women who are sensitive to chemicals in fabric.

      You can test the issue yourself by wearing the bra, and see if the rash develops. Then don’t wear it for at least three weeks, until the rash is gone. Then put the bra back on. If it comes roaring back, it’s the bra.

      If you can take photos of the rash, even better. The problem is that we who react don’t have enough actual evidence to force VS to do something about this problem. Legally speaking, they are able to deny everything and skirt the issue. But those of us who are allergic… we know that something is wrong with this picture.

      Meanwhile, the only solution is to wear a different line of bras. Several women (myself included) can wear sports bras like the ones Champion makes, without issue. I have also been wearing the JC Penney line, Ambrielle, without issue, but the fit is terrible. But, at least I’m not scratching wildly like I have poison oak. :/

      • Thank you for your response. I usually wear Hanes bras. To me, they are the ugliest bras I have ever seen, but they are the most comfortable. I will take pictures of the rashes the Victoria’s Secret bras leave. It is a shame, because they are so pretty. I am glad I am not the only one, and glad I Googled the issue with the bras, thinking I was alone with this problem.

  20. No, Sonya, you are not the only one. There are LOTS of us. But not enough for VS to care enough about to fix the problem.
    Like you, I also Googled “breast rash” which led to “bra rash” which led to the video of the woman who pinned her rash to her VS bra. Bingo. Since I started this thread on my blog, women keep pouring in on a steady basis with the same problem.
    And you are right, it IS a shame we can’t wear our VS bras, because there’s just no other product that matches them.

  21. Hi there, I love these VS bra’ s and have been wearing them for year. My breast are smaller, but they measure ed me and came up with a 36C. Well, these are the Very Sexy Push up (2 sizes up bras ) which for the first time in my life, have actually given me proportion, w/out having to get a breast enhancement. My husband loves it. However, since wearing them, my breast hurt all the time. I’ve developed cystitis where I keep having false positives on my mammograms. I now, have to go in to be checked more often, having my painful breasts squashed over and over in those darn torture machines. Never before wearing these bras did this happen. However, you are right! I love the look of them. They are well made and hold up and no other bra compares to the way this makes me look and feel. So, I’m in on this. Let me know who to contact next, as yes, some I have thrown away, and bought new ones, but to no avail. Always the same thing. Help!!! Is there a class action lawsuit suit? Thanks

    Dani.biddle@comcast.net or call me at 404- 641- 4636 or 770- 575-0138 home

    Sincerely, Danielle B

  22. Hi Dani, your symptoms don’t sound like the ones others are reporting, or what I have experienced. Most of us have had what is called “contact allergic dermatitis” and it is limited to an extreme skin reaction. You would have to have a doctor determine if your cystitis is caused by your bras.

    As for a class action lawsuit, there was one once, but VS squashed it. You can find the outcome of that lawsuit online, and if you read the determination carefully, you will see that although they admit there are trace amounts of formaldehyde, the amount is so small that “most” people will not react. The vast majority, in fact. It’s only the tiny slice of their customers that react.

    Initially, I wondered about a lawsuit, but have slowly come to realize VS’s stance – that relative to the massive numbers of women who purchase their product, those who react are a small minority with an allergic reaction to trace chemicals and therefore, the problem is the customer – not the product.

    VS also says they do not add chemicals to their product, which is true. THEY do not add it. What is already added to the Chinese-made fabric that they purchase and then use in their product is another story.

    Because no one dies from this problem, and it only causes discomfort that will end if you just stop wearing the product, legislators aren’t interested. Sadly, the bottom line is that the responsibility falls upon the consumer to look at labels and refuse to purchase anything manufactured in China. It also falls upon the consumer to recognize the symptoms of an allergic reaction and take steps to remove the irritant.

    All that said, like you, I am frustrated that VS doesn’t care enough about its loyal customers to do something – even quietly – to find fabric without trace chemicals or, better yet, purchase organic American-made fabric exclusively.

  23. Wow I’ve had the same issue for 3 years tired all kinds of creams .I have only wore VS bras! never even thought it could be the bra .Is there anyway to get the chemicals out ..and have you found anything that works for the rash

    • Hello Rachel. I haven’t heard of a way to get the chemicals out. Repeated washing didn’t seem to have any effect for me. There’s nothing I’ve found that gets rid of the rash except to stop wearing the bra. Gold Bond Powder eases the itching, but even with that, it will take 2-3 weeks for the irritation to go away. :/
      If you stop wearing the bra and the rash goes away, if you are brave, put it back on and see if the rash returns. Then you’ll know for sure.

  24. I purchased some bras in Dec, 2015. Started wearing in Jan, 2016 and starting having this awfully itch but I didn’t think much of it. Then decided to take the bra off but the itch didn’t go away. My breast were red and it felt like I had chap skin. Even weeks after not wearing the bra the itch was intermittent but felt like i wanted to rip my skin. It lasted for about approx 2+weeks. I wore a different vs bra Monday March 7 and after wearing for 5 hrs my breast started itching, took the bra off and today is Saturday March 12 and I’m still presenting the itch. Yesterday 3/11. I put 2 and 2 together and it has to be the bra. I was at vs yesterday paying my bill and started conversation with a client at the check out line and when I told her about it she told me she had the same problem with some of their bras. I just contacted the vs consumer health line and reported the Adverse Event. When I told the lady working at vs she looked at me like I’m crazy and told me the bra is over the 90 day refund policy and because I wore it it could not be returned.
    My question and concern. Is vs aware and put on sale the items that have been cause of problem to other consumers.

    • Dear Maria, VS is COMPLETELY aware of the situation. You can find statements about it on their website, where they cleverly deny any responsibility for it, and essentially say there is something wrong with us. I have actually spoken with a VS rep on the phone about this issue, and they carefully dance around actually acknowledging it, and continue to blame the consumer.
      True, a small percentage of us are highly sensitive to chemicals, but the problem is there and more and more women are realizing they’re reacting to the bras.
      If you contact VS directly, they will refund your money. They will be very sympathetic and understanding, but they will not acknowledge the problem. They continue to sell products that make some of us react because they are making so much money on the other 95 percent of the population that they simply don’t care.
      As for the rash, it takes two to three weeks to go away. I have found I can wear Ambrielle bras by JC Penney with no issues (although they are dumpy by comparison) and sports bras, such as Champion makes, but they aren’t great support and are not designed to enhance anything.
      So, bottom line to your question: Yes, VS knows… they don’t care.

    • For me, it has been every bra I bought from there. After 10 minutes, I start itching wherever my bra is. I, too, told the clerk and all she said was “Oh”. It is a shame,, because they have the cutest styles.

      • Wow, you are ultra sensitive. I only reacted to a certain bra, but that said – I always bought the same style, so maybe there are more I would have reacted too. And the whole situation is a shame because women WANT to keep buying their product.

  25. It has been so long now I can’t remember, but I too would get the rash in the shape of the bra or underwear I was wearing. Mostly from Victoria’s Secret almost all of them started to irritate me and I had a lot. Even a few higher end department store brands brought on a rash as well. But I did call vs and when I got to a rep on the customer service line, if I’m remembering this correctly, she had assigned me a case number and transferred me to the special line they had set up for this in particular. They informed me that I would get a store credit. I had to say “why would I want to buy more items if thess ones are making me this way” so then she said they could refunded for most of the bras on my cc if I sent them back in the mailer they provided. They also sent a paper for me to sign as well which I lost and never sent in because I didn’t think I should be signing anything for them in the first place. I never sent the bag back either, it was not larger enough to even fit two bras in and I had over 20. Eventually I think I threw the whole bag of them away because I was so irritated looking at them. I was fine for years then all of a sudden maybe 4 or 5 years ago now I started getting these painful itchy rashes. Now I have to buy bras with caution. Never buy more then one at a time. Now I barely even spend money on any. I found that the xoxo brand at Ross works well for me, even though they don’t hold up well with the under wire part eventually stabbing through 😣 It be nice if we could trust the things we put on our bodies and wear for most of the day.

    • Dear Candace,
      Isn’t it frustrating, how VS will absolutely not acknowledge that there’s any problem, and why WOULD you want to buy more of the same when they cause misery?
      I’m certainly curious to know about the paper they sent you – was it releasing them from liability?
      And, like you – I wore VS for years and years and then suddenly – huge problems. Right about the time they moved their manufacturing to China. :/
      And I’m like you – I buy one bra first to see how that goes, because chances are, more and more companies will be using Chinese fabric. I don’t trust any clothing that says “Made in China”.

  26. I am also allergic to VS bras. Want to scratch my skin off when I wear them. I returned mine. I used to be able to wear them years ago. I have found that I can wear GAP bras without reaction and that they are cute and not to expensive. The last one I bought was a year ago, so hopefully they are still good. Hope this helps someone.

  27. My daughter brought me one of the sport bra from VS for Mother Day… I begged for this bra due to its really support my breasts !!!! My breasts is size DD and I been having trouble with my back especially when walking.. But I worn this bra yesterday and this morning I woke up itching like somebody had pour ants on my breasts and areas were the bra cover!!!! My breasts haven’t reacted like this since my breast swollen triple my size after I had my baby!!!! This I believe is VS bra making me react like this , but support is like no other !!! But ITCHING not worth lift ….

  28. I purchased a bra a few months ago and started getting insane rashes underneath my girls and around my sides (under my armpits). It took me a while to realize that the rashes only showed up when I wore one particular bra from VS. I put the bra aside for around 3 weeks and the itch died down. I tried the bra again yesterday to see if I was right and I woke up with nearly hives this morning. It’s definitely the bra and I’m definitely calling VS to get my money back.

    • Hello LD – Yes, that’s exactly how you pinpoint what the issue is: take the bra off, the rash goes away. Put the bra back on: the rash comes back. Hope you are healing up soon and get your money back. Come back and let us know if you find a good alternative to VS!

  29. I bought some new bras last week, thought I’d try out soma. First bra I wore for about a week, so far no complaints. It seems to not be causing me any irritation “enhancing shape full coverage” is the name of that one. It is like a satin material, very soft and comfy. The second one I tried didn’t go as well. I am covered in a very painful, itchy rash under my breasts, underarms, shoulders and back in the shape of the bra of course. This one is called “embraceable full coverage” made in Sri Lanka. it is similar to the cloth bras vs has that also cause the welt like rash to my skin. Just wanted to Give a warning incase any of you decide to try it the first one, like I said has been really nice so far. The second I would stay away from. I think I’m done living dangerously for a little. Hopefully bra type #1 can be the winner for me. I’m so tired of being afraid of what I put on my breast and butt. I haven’t bought new underwear (cute ones that is, I found a brand I like called pact that don’t irritate) in a while because I just never know what’s going to cause this mess. 😔

    • Hello Candace,
      It’s bizarre how one bra will cause the rash and another is just fine. You’d think that would help VS figure out what the culprit for the rashes is, but in my opinion, they just don’t care. It’s more profitable for them to just ignore the issue and keep on selling the bras.
      Were these VS bras you tried or another brand?
      And… don’t be afraid to experiment with new products. Now you know what the rash looks and feels like, and you’ll know immediately if you’re reacting to the item.
      Bummer that the bra you reacted to is made in Sri Lanka. That means it’s spreading out from Chinese manufacturing. But – maybe the fabric itself is made in China.
      Hope you are feeling better soon and find a product that doesn’t cause this misery. If you do – come back and share!
      🙂

  30. Wow.. just found your blog posts on this and wonder if this is what is happening to me. I have a full coverage VS bra that I bought a few years ago and just started wearing in the past year. I didn’t put two and two together until tonight. See, when I wear this bra, especially if it’s not snugged up tight enough, it causes extreme skin irritation to the point of feeling as if I have a sunburn. It also leaves red lines where the underwire is located. I wore the bra for 8 hours out on Saturday night, and I was dancing and havinf fun. On the way home the area under the bra started to burn… got home and took it off. Noticed the next day that the skin felt raw where the bra had been. Then tonight I noticed that I have a huge welt on one side where the bra would be around my ribcage. I’m in agony! I kept thinking it was because the bra didn’t fit right, but I doubt a big welt like that would happen. I’m sensitive to latex, rubber, and formaldehyde. All I know is that I spent a lot of money on a bra that is attacking me! I have a bra I bought from Vanity Fair and it’s just fine. Sometimes.. well.. always, I wish that the textile industry wasn’t shipped overseas to make a few people billionaires.

    • Hi Trixie,
      Well, you have hit the issue exactly on the head: the textile industry is doing its manufacturing overseas, where there are cheap materials and cheap labor, yet still charging top dollar for their products — and we still purchase them because we love them that much. Until those products cause extreme discomfort!
      Any chance you could take this bra to a dermatologist and have it tested? We need to find the common denominator in these bras to see what causes the reaction.
      In the meantime, now that you are aware of the reaction, you’ll be able to spot it, and the test is easy: Leave the item off for a couple weeks and see if the rash clears up, then put it back on and see if it comes back.
      Glad you found this blog, and can be reassured that you are not alone!
      Best wishes!

  31. @Debra The new bras I tried are from Soma, I still have my rash 8 days later. slowly improving but still very itchy and uncomfortable. I went back yesterday and returned the two same style ones and got a bunch of the style that didn’t bother me when I wore it for the week, which was actually the Vanishing Back Full Coverage, the other that I mentioned was good, is still doing well too. it’s the first time in a long time I’ve gone bra shopping. I am happy to have more than one bra, even thought I had a bit of a bumpy road lol

  32. I am having an allergic reaction to VS bras. I am sorely disappointed. My breast look like tiger spots. I am prone to have sensitive skin but this is outrageous. I’m glad I found this blog. It’s been over 2 weeks and the rash is still here. My nipples stopped itching finally but the patches of rash are still on my breast. I have patches of rash on my stomach, back, and my breast. It’s beyond embarrassing and I’m a newly married.

    • Dear Sharlaundra, so sorry to hear you’ve got the “sensitivity” too. Please see your doctor and have your condition documented, and please tell him/her about this blog and all the women who have this problem so you can cut right to the chase.
      The only solution to the itching and the rash is to stop wearing the bra. It takes 2-3 weeks for it to go away, and it’s very uncomfortable in the meantime. Maybe your doc can prescribe something to help with the itch. I found Gold Bond Powder to help a little, but it just takes time. :/

  33. I’ve been wearing a Chantelle bra that’s giving me a HORRIBLE itch/rash on my right breast. Can’t seem to find any info on Chantelle bras causing the itch. For now, I’m going to have to wear an older sports bra and rock the uni-boob look. YaY! 😦 I don’t know what to do; is there an organic lingerie company that makes good fitting bras? I’m a 34DD-DDD; don’t really want to go without.

    • Hello HaNH Vo, I haven’t heard of the Chantelle line, but I’m not surprised that other companies are having this issue, given that it’s the fabric itself that’s the problem, and fabric can be used anywhere.
      Have you tried Soma? I have heard good things about this line. Also, the Ambrielle line at JC Penney is acceptable. Not wonderful – just acceptable.
      Hope you can find something so you can lose the uni-boob look!
      Please report back and let us know!

  34. HaNH Vo, I have been wearing Panache bras for 1 year now with no problems. They are expensive but so good. I buy them from barenecessities.com and figleaves.com. Also after 1 year of wearing, washing them still in like new condition.

  35. I hate to comment that I am joining this club – as of today i have 12 bras in my possession and the past two years have been a night mare trying to figure out what was wrong with me to find out it is my bras. As soon as I stopped wearing them the rash went away. I’ve purchased others but I have to say so far I’ve not found any I was as happy with especially work out bras.
    I’ve tried taking them back to the store and to no surprise the store wouldn’t take them back – I’ve now contacted customer support and at first I was offered a store gift card – Like Really ? I am allergic to your clothes and maybe not all of them but I don’t want to have t go through all of them to try them on.

    I’ll do whatever is needed but at 10X45 then 2 X $20 – thats a lot of money.

    • Does anyone have any advise as to if I should send these base as they’ve only given me a confirmation # not told me if /what they’ll do for a refund. No advise at all on going to Doctor, getting them tested only their sending me packaging to return them.
      They did ask me if I wanted restitution – I simply said I want a refund for what I’ve spent so I can purchase bras for replacements.

      • Hi Ann, VS is only going to do the very minimum, which is refund your money. They aren’t going to advise you to go to a doctor because that would mean they’d have to acknowledge the problem.
        Personally, I feel you should put those bras in a baggie and see if there is somewhere you can have them tested for chemicals in the fabric. You should also see your doctor and explain what happens when you put on the bras, show her/him this blog, and see what s/he diagnoses you with.
        I unfortunately just threw my bras away, not yet knowing what was going on (I hadn’t researched and written about it yet!), so I had nothing to test.
        Also, I found that the only way to make the rash/itching go away is to stop wearing the bras completely. It will take 2-3 weeks. I found Gold Bond powder to help the itching.
        If you are brave – put the bra back on. If the rash returns – you’ll have your answer.
        I see in your previous post that you have a lot of bras. True, a lot of money. I’d save maybe three of them that give you the worst reaction and return the rest.

  36. Why isn’t everyone specifying which specific bra styles are causing them issues? I have 8 Body by Victoria Perfect Shape bras, more than 20 Dream Angels Unlined Demi bras – many others but those 2 styles are my faves. I haven’t had rashes but have experienced hot breast tissue on occasion. I would prefer to avoid exposure to the bras causing issues for people – it sure would be helpful if everyone commenting would simply state which bras caused issues. Is there someone reason this information is being omitted?

    • Hello Beth, some people have mentioned which style is causing the rash, but you’re right, it would be great if everyone listed the style that causes the rash and also the color. In my original column, I mentioned that my rash was triggered by the heather gray all-cotton bra – and only the ones made in China. The same style bra in another color didn’t cause the problem.
      Going forward, I would encourage everyone who posts here to note the style and color of the bra that caused your rash, and also where it was manufactured.

    • Mine were all Body by Victoria perfect coverage bra. I owned 20 of them in all colors and they caused reaction. White, black, pink, blue, white, white with flowers and more. I have been wearing Panache and Cleo bras for the past 18 months and I’m so happy I found them. I was in constant itch on my breasts thinking it is my dry skin for years. So thankful for Debra and all the others sharing with us.

  37. Sorry to throw a curve into your theories about the Chinese made bras being the problem. I am not one who is sensitive to many things, but my 2 Victoria Secret lined demi bras, one pink and one champagne, were both made in Sri Lanka, and they are causing me to have ridiculous itchy rash.
    Just got off the phone from VC Customer service, and they will refund my money, but only if I return the bras. 😦

    • Hi Laureen – Since I first wrote these blogs, I’m sure that the Chinese fabric is being used elsewhere. So, I’m not surprised that bras being manufactured elsewhere are causing the rash. I’ll bet the fabric was made in China.
      They want you to return the bras so there will be no evidence of chemicals in the fabric. See if you can have them tested, and THEN return them!

  38. Hi! I know this blog is old but wondering if you are still reading it??
    If so please contact me via email. As I have had a recent incident

  39. Hi Rachel, there’s no lawsuit… a lawsuit against VS failed because VS successfully managed to blame those who have the allergic reaction as “the problem.” The whole thing never even made it to court. VS has very deep pockets. :/

  40. Wow that sucks I had the rash for 3 years till I gota Walmart sports bra and it went a always about 2 months after I stopped wearing VS Bras 😦

  41. I had to stop using bras for 2 weeks now to get ride of the rash and itchiness. I think Im going to start using the VS bras but only one at the time to figure out which ones are giving me the rash.

    • Hi Diana,
      Yes, that’s how you can figure it out. If you have developed a sensitivity, you’ll know which one it is right away. I found that it was a certain style in a certain color that was the problem. Horrific reaction!
      Please report back when you figure it out!

  42. Hello, I thought i was the only one getting this bad rash from VS bras, but now I see I am not the only one. Its been going on for a while now but never really cared to do much about it, because I thought something else might have been causing the rashes. So, today i decided to search it up online and see if someone else was experiencing the same issue, and I came across your post. I really do hope VS does something about this issue, because as you mentioned, they do have the best looking bras, but if this continues i might have to opt to getting another brand even if its not too sexy :/. Rather not have this bad rash than worry about a sexy bra.

    • Hi Carmen,
      Well…. if you have the allergy to whatever is in the fabric, sadly, the only solution is to stop using the product. The good news is that your rash will clear up in a couple weeks. VS does not acknowledge any problem and, therefore, won’t do anything about it. 😦

  43. I’m having the same issue. Purchased a new VS bra about 2 months ago and just recently noticed a small rash on my right breast, right above the nipple. I’m calling VS in the morning.

    • Hello Stefanie,
      Good that you are reporting your rash to VS, and I also suggest that you see your doctor and have your condition documented. Many doctors are unaware that there is a contact allergic dermatitis issue with VS bras, so you may have to tell her/him about this blog and what you found out.
      Good luck, and hope your rash clears up soon! (You must stop wearing the bra for that to happen!)

  44. I’ve suffered for 3 years now from my VS bras! I truly never thought of my bra when faced w severe itching. I’ve had a mammogram and my doctor and I have tried everything w no success!!! I still have my bras and contacted VS, who suggested I return the bras to the store. I’m not, I’ll hold onto them until someone gets the balls to sue this Co for causing woman such agony. I’ve had anxiety so bad over this constant itch! I could claw myself raw at times it’s so bad! No more beloved VS for me!

    • Hello Tina,
      So sorry to hear about your discomfort. I sympathize! I wish I’d hung on to the bras that caused my rash, and I DID claw myself raw. Like you… no more VS for me.
      Please check back and let me know if your rash cleared up after you stopped wearing the bras.

    • Rachel – you can show them this blog on your cell phone….
      VS knows full well about this. Their reps have emailed me and spoke with me on the phone. They will not actually acknowledge that there is an issue, nor any responsibility, but they ARE aware of it.

    • Hello Kovanya – I’m so sorry to hear you are having discomfort. Test out your theory by not wearing the bra until the rash is gone, then put it back on and see if it returns. If it does, see you doctor so your condition is documented.
      I’ve heard that VS will refund your money, however, I think we should hang on to the bras because they are evidence. I wish I’d hung on to mine.
      The good news is – you can be free of the rash, but will probably have to find a different bra to wear.

  45. I have had this rash for almost a year. I have gone through three doctors, several allergy tests, taken three sets of prednisone, two sets of steroid shots and to find out its all of my bras……and VS knows about it….you’ve got to be kidding me?! I have itched scars into my back and sides. I have been miserable for months!

    • It’s very frustrating isn’t it? The stress and anxiety of wondering what sort of horrible rare disease you have and it turns out… it’s a simple contact dermatitis allergy. The problem is that the medical community seems to know nothing about this. That said, yes, VS is well aware of this, but they don’t care, and won’t acknowledge there is an issue because, frankly, those of us who react to the chemicals in their fabrics are a very small minority and it is more cost-effective for them to continue to deny that there’s a problem at all.

      That is why they are so willing to give customers their money back because when they have possession of the bras, they can destroy the evidence. So, while it’s tempting to get your money back – I advise people to hang onto those bras. Put them in a baggie, and if you find a laboratory that can test the bra for chemicals – do it!

      In the meanwhile, here is the good news: If you stop wearing the bras and they are the cause of the rash, the rash will go away in about 3 weeks. You will continue to itch and scratch for awhile (Gold Bond powder was the only thing that gave me any relief), but that will subside. If you are brave, after it’s all healed, put the bra back on and see if you react to it.

      Other than that, I’m afraid your only course of action is to find a different bra that doesn’t cause you problems. Not all VS bras cause the problem – in my case it was only a certain color of bra in a certain style (my favorite of course). However, I won’t buy ANY bras from VS, even if they don’t cause a reaction, because I don’t want to give any more of my money to a company that cares so little about the health of its customers.

      So, good luck and good healing, Julie – please report back if you find any solutions, answers or insight.

  46. This is insane. I have been having an “issue” on and off for a few years. I break out in the horrible itchy blisters but only in one particular area. This morning I began googling and was astonished. All of my bras are from VS; however, I have a variety of styles/colors. I just checked the one I am wearing and indeed it was made in China! I have not gone to the doctor as of yet because I have always managed to get rid of it with some lavender oil (and a more comfortable bra!) – albeit I was miserable for a few weeks,and in the summer it’s pure agony. I just checked the bra I’m wearing now, as I am having an issue – sure enough it was made in China!

    • Hello Francine,
      This is going to become an issue beyond VS, I fear, because the issue isn’t the brand per se – it is the Chinese made fabric. The interesting thing about the VS bras, however, is that washing them doesn’t seem to do any good. You can test to see if it’s the bra by not wearing it until the rash is gone, and then putting it back on. Now that you know the cause of the rash, you’ll be able to determine which bra is causing it. If you have access to a lab that can test it for chemicals – please do so and come back and report the results!

  47. Ok, so its not just me!!! whew. I have been a VS customer for years. I recently purchased a new black bra and got this rash on my breast in the shape of the bra! Horrible! I went to my dermatologist and got some steroid cream to get it under control. I thought maybe it was the black dye but after reading here – I realize it must be something else and this is scary! The chemical must have gotten in my blood stream because the rash broke out on my leg as well.

    • Dear Lacey,
      No, it’s not just you. It’s hundreds, maybe thousands of us, but in the scope of VS’s customer base, we are a tiny minority and they simply don’t care about us. It’s more cost-effective to continue using the chemically infused cheap fabric than it is to address the problem. VS will not even acknowledge that there IS a problem despite so many women coming forward with breast rashes.
      The good new is that there is a simple solution – just stop wearing the bras, and the rash will clear up in 2-3 weeks.
      Hope you are healing up and feeling better soon!

  48. I wish I would have seen this sooner. I have been suffering for years. Had no idea it was the bras causing the painful, burning, itching, rash. I have had to take antibiotics twice for the skin infections these bras caused. They are still selling the horrible things.

  49. Hi,

    I just read your page about the VS bra allergy. I’m almost 100% positive that exactly what I’m experiencing. I have nothing but VS bras. And a rash didn’t develop until I recently purchased new VS bras. Let me know what steps I can take to help you with your investigations.

    Thanks,
    Dana

    • Hi Dana,
      Well, about all you can do is 1) Stop wearing the bras and 2) See your doctor to have your condition diagnosed and documented. You might want to tell her/him about the allergic contract dermatitis that some VS customers are experiencing.
      As for investigating – it is abundantly clear that VS will not acknowledge this problem exists, and therefore won’t do anything to mitigate it. So, despite our loyalty to their brand – they simply don’t care.
      So – the only thing we can do is try to find an alternative product, and it isn’t easy.
      And – you can always check back to this blog and see if there are any updates and add your own.
      Thanks,
      Debra

  50. HI Debra, Just like Dana I only wear VS bras. I’ve never had trouble until I recently purchased a new VS Very Sexy bra. After wearing I had a huge red welt where the underwire was. I thought it was problem with that bra, so I exchanged for a 36 instead of 34 and still the same issue. I stopped wearing the new bra and went back to my old VS bras and not they ALL cause a horrible rash across my chest, abdomen, and it’s starting to spread to my underarms and back! I’m itching as I write this! Something about their bras causes and intense allergic reaction and once it starts it is very hard to get rid. I will save the bra. Any news on a lawsuit or something being done? This is ridiculous that so many had the reaction and nothing done about it! Thanks for sharing the information you have.
    Thanks,
    Gretchen

    • Hi Gretchen! No worries about the typos… texting has made us all able to read right through them! 🙂
      So, welcome to the Itchy Sisters Club. It’s an unfortunate one, because we are all loyal VS customers, but the loyalty only goes one way. The bottom line is that VS doesn’t care about this issue because those who react to the chemicals are such a small percentage of their customer base. It’s cheaper for them to ignore the problem, and better PR because in order to fix it, they’d have to acknowledge that the problem exists. They don’t.
      That said, it seems to me that they could quietly discontinue using fabric that is laced with chemicals and this entire situation would disappear. The fact that they don’t, that women CONTINUE having this problem with brand new bras leads me to believe that the fabric is so cheap, it is more cost effective to keep using it than to find new fabric.
      As for a lawsuit, VS has very deep pockets and when a woman tried to bring this issue to court, VS squashed her.
      So, the only other route is to raise awareness about the allergy problem so that women and their doctors will identify it for what it is – contact allergic dermatitis – and steer clear of products that trigger it, much as people with peanut allergies must be aware of what is in their food.
      In other words – we all have to be proactive about protecting our health, because VS doesn’t care. They just care about profit.

  51. I think it might be a little more than just a little allergic reaction, women are being poisoned through theses bras. Just because someone doesn’t develop the itch doesn’t mean these chemicals aren’t effecting womens bodies and poisoning them. Even the 1 chemical mentioned is toxic cancer causing. I have a message for all women, whether you have the “allergic reaction” or not, these bras ARE toxic and the cancer causing chemicals are being absorbed into your bodies. I also think their is something more strange than formaldehyde in them as well. I also think I wore these poisonous things for so long that all my joints and bones are aching from whatever is in those bras. Why would China be intentionally sending us clothing to the USA with all these unnecessary chemicals in them? Children’s toys with lead in them? I Detest VS for go along with China’s secret warfare on the unsuspecting people of the USA for their own profit! I bet the heads of VS don’t wear their own brand of bras because they know better.

    • You make a REALLY interesting point, Robin! You are right – just because women don’t have a topical skin reaction doesn’t mean they aren’t absorbing the chemicals through their skin. VERY concerning. I wonder if VS wearers are more likely to have particular cancers? And because they aren’t reacting to the bras – they will never make the connection.
      China makes all sorts of things that are harmful because it’s cheap. Remember when they shipped pet food with melamine in it and so many pets died? They don’t care about their own people, so whey would they care about American pets? Or, American women either? It’s all about profit! But for VS to go along with this, KNOWING (and they DO KNOW) that there are problems is just vile. And, like you, I detest the for this.
      It is pure evil.

    • I’m not sure if anyone has tried reaching out to a local news station or not, or if you think that would even help to get the attention this matter needs. But I thought I would throw that out there if anyone is interested.

      • I was talking with someone at ABC in LA for a bit… she lost interest.
        I think it’s a great idea. I’ll give it a try. Maybe the local guys will pick it up… or connect me to someone who will listen.

      • Excellent! I will do the same here in Texas. Maybe if we had several women reach out to local news stations at the same time, we could really make some noise!

  52. I just wore a brand new bralette made in shrilanka today to work.. I have the worst side rash ever I still have the tag seeing as I just pulled it off this morning 61% nylon 38% spandex

    • Hello Amanda,
      Well, it looks like VS isn’t the only company to use the Chinese fabric. So sorry to hear you are uncomfortable.
      To test if it’s really the bra – take it off for 2-3 weeks and see if the rash goes away. Then, if you are brave, put it back on and see if it comes back.
      And also, show the rash to your doctor so it’s documented.
      Please come back and tell me how you’re doing!

  53. I have lots of bras and lots of rash issues. All of my bras are from VS with the exception of a few sports bras. With the exception of the few sports bras I always develop a rash. I didn’t even consider it might be the bras. I’ve been to the doctor (which is extremely expensive as I don’t have insurance) and they’ve given me rx after rx and nothing has helped. So I stopped wearing the bras and the rash goes away!

    • Hi April Rose! Well, the good news is that now you know what it is. The bad news is… no more VS bras for you. But – you have a lot of company! I hope you will share with your doctor what is really going on, and please come back and let me know if you have found an acceptable substitute for VS bras!

  54. My itchy rash is related to my VS bra. I thought I was crazy but after wearing it a few times I would get this insane rash. A couple of months later I put it on and sure enough the itchy rash was back in less than a day and by the next morning it got worse. I did a Google search and saw this site at 5am! Because the itching would not stop.
    I purchased a Body by Victoria lined demi in dark dark blue w lace pattern on the front.
    Buyers beware!!!! I knew I wasn’t crazy thinking it had to be the bra, and I have very sensitive skin allergies and all. Thanks for posting!

    • *Update. Hi again. After I posted my initial comment, less than a day and the itching turned into burning. This happened to me a few months back one night. I literally woke up from the itching and as soon as I barely touched and scratched my breasts, the burning sensation instantly began! I applied aloe vera and cried myself to sleep. Tonight, the burning sensation slowly built up and I cannot sleep despite applying aloe vera. I scheduled a dr appt but unfortunately it’s so many days out from now. I’m keeping the bra as evidence also. Sorry we are dealing with excruciating pain from simply wearing a bra.

      • Hello Jay…. oh, this sounds so familiar. I literally scratched myself until I had bruises and broken skin… and still couldn’t stop. The itching was irresistible, like poison oak. It takes a while to recover, even after not wearing the bras – it took me about 3 weeks. The only thing that helped was Gold Bond powder and time.
        Please tell your doctor about this blog, and ask if there is some way to test the bra for fabric chemicals, and if so… PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!
        Doctors are mostly oblivious to this situation, and there are SO MANY of us being misdiagnosed and given all sorts of drugs, when the problem is the BRA.
        Thanks so much for contacting me. I will be interested to hear how you do, and what you find out!

  55. I have a itch under my breast no rash went to my primary and my dermatologist. They both gave me medication that didn’t work. My bra is made by warners in china. So there is more than just VS bras affected I believe. I have had this for a year just red a article about the formaldehyde just thinking this may be my problem. I’m angry this can even happen.

    • Dear Shelly,
      Believe me, I am angry too. Women like you and I are like those who are allergic to peanuts. It’s horrific for us, but 99% of the people don’t react to the chemicals, so essentially, we don’t matter. Those allergic to peanuts die, so they pay attention to that and put warning labels on things. Those allergic to chemicals in fabric are extremely uncomfortable, but we don’t die, so essentially, we don’t matter. Therefore, it is up to us to recognize the symptoms and avoid the products that have these chemicals.
      So far, I have had good luck with Ambrielle bras by JC Penney and the T-shirt bras by Lane Bryant. That said, although they don’t cause any discomfort, they are relatively dumpy and poorly made – they fall apart much sooner than a VS bra would.
      So… you and I and everyone with this problem are on a quest to find products that don’t make us feel like we are crawling with poison oak.
      :/
      I hope you will come back and let me know how you are doing, and whether you’ve found any products that work for you. I’m afraid those of us with this problem are on our own. So – we have to stick together.
      🙂

  56. I am having the same issue, it upsets me that manufactures, we’ll, some (I hope) don’t care for the health of the people buying their products. There’s a trust issue….

    • Hi Jeanine, it’s so frustrating, isn’t it? AND – most of us would happily buy VS products again if they’d put warning labels on the ones that have chemicals. They simply don’t care. We represent a small percentage of their customer base, so we don’t matter.

  57. I finally decided to google itchy from VS bras and walla! I find this. I guess I am not alone. I scratch so hard I make myself bleed. I cannot believe nothing is being done about this.

    • Hello, bevygram! That sounds familiar. I also scratched until I bled and bruised – the itch was that irresistible. 😦
      VS will not acknowledge the problem OR do anything about it. Their stance is that it is this small group of women who react to their products that are the problem – not the product. So, sadly, all we can do is find a different product.
      We love our VS bras, but nothing is worth itching like that. :/
      Hope you heal up soon!

    • Same thing happened to me, I didn’t connect it
      To the vs bras for 2 yrs I itched so bad, couldn’t even sleep. Drs. had no idea what was going on. Skin infections, antibiotics, I’m scarred for life now. There has got to be some nasty chemicals in them for this to be happening to so many of us.

  58. Yep. Horrible rash for 2 years where the bra Co tact my armpits. Tried EVERYTHING to determine the problem. Cut up an old VS bra so it didn’t make contact with the spot and the rash came up along the cut line. BINGO!

    • Hello Gayle,
      You get so sensitive to the allergen that your skin reacts violently upon contact. But at least you know the symptoms now, and will know what to watch for. We have to watch out for ourselves, because VS doesn’t care. :/

  59. OMG!! I can’t believe how long it took me to scroll down the replies😳
    I purchased a tshirt bra from VS and well it wasn’t fitting me perfectly so I used some dress tape and when I was removing the dress tape it took a little skin as well. Shortly after, I developed this rash that crept completely around my breast all while wearing my VS bra but for weeks I thought it had nothing to do with the bra , so what do I do? Jump on the internet in desperation and find all these posts about VS 😱 I haven’t been wearing any VS bras for about 3 days and I still have some rashly spots and it’s still a little itchy . Did anything particular help with the rash ? I have been using aloe burn cream because none of the allergy stuff worked ( Benadryl cream, cortisone) none of them helped with the rash .

    • Hello Tan,
      I did not find anything that helps get rid of the rash other than stop wearing the bra completely, and give it time. It takes about 2-3 weeks to clear up. I wore stretchy Champion sports bras (one size too small will give you a little support!) and that allows your skin to breathe a little. Keeping the area dry rather than moist worked best for me, and I found Gold Bond Powder to help with the itching.
      It is such a misery!
      Good luck and hope you feel better soon!

  60. I understand this is an old post but I have a bad issue with VS bras and have permanent scarring from the rashes and outbreaks they have caused me. I’ve had breast cancer scans, biopsys, I’ve been on rounds of antibiotics and then I discovered it’s the bras!

    • Hello, Julie! It may be an old post, but the issue is still current. Women are STILL reacting to VS bras. 😦
      Sorry you went through so much discomfort. The only “treatment” is to not wear the bras.

  61. Add me to Club Rash.

    I just bought two new bras – Body by Victoria. And, could not figure out why I was breaking out in a rash in the center of my chest and under my breasts. Switched to another bra – Maidenform – and the rash cleared up. Wore Body by V –again broke out in a rash. Wash…rinse…repeat.

    It’s the bra.

    It takes at least a week or more for the rash to clear up.

    Googled (Victoria Secret bras AND Rash) and found this blog and a bunch of complaints since 2008.

    Any idea what VS’s plans on doing — other than denying that this is happening?

    • Yup… that is the proof… stop wearing the bra, the rash goes away. Put it back on… the rash comes back. Sadly, VS will do NOTHING about this because they deny that there is a problem. All we can do is stop wearing their bras. 😦

  62. Heyyy!! I just did a google search and found you! I searched because I suspected my new bra was making my breast itch! It wasn’t going on until I started wearing it! When I wear the old ones I don’t have the problem 😲 I wondered if it could be the bra! I even tried washing it and it has the mos awful weird odor. I’m afraid of it now 😢😢. What can we do?

    • Hello there, Thachik_109… well, welcome to our Itchy Sisters club. We all feel your pain. There is not much we can do except stop wearing the bras, and learn to recognize the symptoms of “contact allergic dermatitis” so that we know if we are reacting to chemicals in fabric.
      The good news is that the rash will go away in about 3 weeks if you don’t wear the bra. I found Gold Bond Powder to be helpful with the itching.
      Bummer that we aren’t able to wear the bras we love!

  63. Ladies! I figured out what it is and it isn’t formaldehyde. I had the same exact thing happen to me from a different bra manufacturer so I researched the bra making process and found that it is the polyurethane. They have a new process where they spray polyurethane glue in between the layers of material to make the bra. Polyurethane is that stuff they spray in buildings and make all kinds of things with. It can cause cancer, dermatitis, asthma and a bunch of other stuff. I have rashes, itching, skin peeling, scarring, skin color changes and now what appears to be skin cancer on my breast. The skin texture changed and is rough now. I plan to sue the manufacturer because I don’t believe they performed tests and they should know better than to use industrial polyurethane glue on a bra because it can release isocyanate compounds which can include unlovely things like tolulene which according to: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=159&tid=29

    “High levels of toluene exposure during pregnancy, such as those associated with solvent abuse, may lead to retardation of mental abilities and growth in children. Other health effects of potential concern may include immune, kidney, liver, and reproductive effects.”

    https://highnic.en.alibaba.com/product/60558283573-200190100/sprayable_polyurethane_glue_for_seamless_bra_cup_molding_machine.html

    http://www.adhesives.org/adhesives-sealants/adhesives-sealants-overview/adhesive-technologies/chemically-curing/two-component-(2-c)/urethane-adhesives
    https://gallaghercorp.com/design-guide/polyurethane-elastomers/

    http://highnic.en.made-in-china.com/product/zvcxsELKgkWQ/China-Moisure-Curing-Polyurethane-Adhesive-for-Underwear-Fabrication.html

    http://sciencing.com/environmental-impacts-polyurethane-foam-20313.html

    These chemicals are endocrine disruptor’s and for us Women to be exposed to them through bra’s means it effects our hormones by disrupting estrogen levels (possibly increasing estrogen making one more likely to get cancers including breast cancer caused by estrogen dominance, effects other hormones like the thyroid if pthalates are involved and the thymus if benzenes are involved. The double whammy is what it could do to your nursing babies or to pregnant mom’s.

    These company’s gamble that you won’t do anything or won’t figure out what they are doing. They are not going to admit to any wrong doing. They don’t care. They just want your money and your health is something they don’t care about when they they calculate profits against the cost of an occasional lawsuit.

    • Wowwwww…. this is an amazing find, and I’m thrilled to hear that you landed on the answer! No WONDER VS stubbornly said there is no detectable formaldehyde in their bras that was causing the problem… it was something ELSE! I will have to do another column this week and I hope you will send me links to any other information about this! All of those symptoms are the same as mine! Thanks so much for posting this, and I hope you will let us all know how your lawsuit is coming, and anything else you find out. Thanks for the information! Please stay in touch!

    • Omg, I knew it couldn’t be just a slight reaction to just formaldehyde. Even though formaldehyde is cancerous itself. My skin went through the same changes but not just on my breast. My shoulders, my back. Hardening of the skin, discolorations, and everything you described. I went into early menopause as well as all the other problems. I’m so angry.

  64. I recently got a couple new bras from The Gap, where I’ve previously had an issue. I’ve been fighting a strange acne breakout on my face for weeks now and I’m curious if it might be the bra again. I have zero bras that I trust anymore and going braless isn’t an option. I don’t even know what to do to test my theory!!
    Should I go out and buy a 100% cotton bra maybe??

    • Ironically, it was the VS cotton bra that gave me the trouble! Best bra on earth – can’t wear it. 😦
      I have been wearing Ambrielle (JC Penney) cotton bras for awhile without issue. Lane Bryant also has cotton bras that don’t seem to cause a rash, but they fall apart really quickly.

      • Ah yes I will need to pick up another Ambrielle bra. I had to update my last one to these bras because I realized I was too ambitious all my life thinking I had B cups 🙄

    • I found a package of cotton bras that are very comfortable for me. It’s a 3 pack of either fruit of the loom or Hanes, can’t remember which at the moment. They are racerback bras, soft cotton w/ soft cotton straps. For the longest time I had a hard time wearing anything on my skin at all..

  65. clio44 I wear Panache and Cleo by Panache and I am VERY happy with it. I like them way better than VS, but more expensive. They cause 0 reaction and they have unpadded versions as well. So comfortable even for my large breasts.

  66. Hi MyBoobsArePissedOff, can you test the bra for those chemicals? Will you be able to convince the jury that this is what caused the reactions? What is the other brand you had reactions to? Just in case someone else have the same reactions like you.

  67. Omg I’m experiencing the rash it’s awful and everything I try to put on the breast for rash it burns even the goldbond powder help what should I do

    • Vonshika, you must stop wearing the bra. Period. It takes about 3 weeks for the rash to clear, and I wasn’t able to find anything that helps. I wore Champion sports bras in the meantime. The Gold Bond powder did help the itching. You just need more time to let your skin rest and heal.

  68. Yee, I am not a scientist, just a consumer like you. There is one thing you can do to investigate. Don’t throw the bra away. It is evidence. You can cut through one of the bra cups to see how it was manufactured. If you see foam and glue in the layers than it is likely they used a polyurethane spray to mold the layers together. That spray is much more toxic than the foam layer and or there is an interaction between the spray and the foam. It says the spray can release Isocyanates or Isocyanate compounds if the manufacturing process is not done correctly. Compare the manufacture process of the toxic bra’s to the bra’s that don’t bother you.

    Polyurethane spray information: http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/chemicals-spray-polyurethane-foam-how-can-something-so-toxic-be-considered-green.html

      • Not sure about it being the glue because my WHOLE bra affected me. Straps and everything. Morgellons disease has some very unusual organisms. It’s much like this biting stinging itch. I wonder if it came from China as well. Nano technology

  69. Hi Debra, you are welcome. I’m sorry, I didn’t see your post earlier. I’m still interviewing lawyers at this point. I agree the made in china bra’s are the problem. I still think it is the spray polyurethane they are using to glue the layers together more than the foam layers. Foam pads or layers in bra’s have been around for a long time and no one has really had problem with them. The new processes using the glues, resins and things like that I am guessing is the problem. They make the cups more adaptable to all our different shapes without wrinkling the fabric but these sprays and glues are toxic. Probably heat causes them to gas out or something to the skin. I can’t believe VS is trying to downplay the problem. Rashes that scar your skin and make it hideous to the touch is not acceptable, not to mention the misery. There’s nothing sexy about that at all. They are now using these sprays to make seamless seams on the bra’s but those seamless seams are actually made out of polyurethane spray. Some of the other new scary innovations available are using polyurethane liquid to mold bra cups instead of fabric.

    • Please keep me informed about your legal process… you will note that there are a LOT of women, just on this blog, who can testify about the discomfort they’ve experienced. My hope is that a legal action will force VS and other clothing manufacturers to label their products as containing potential allergens and carcinogens, and further label other products as organic or hypoallergenic so consumers who react to these chemicals can make more informed choices.
      The scary part of that, however, is that some people don’t react to these chemicals, but could the chemicals STILL be seeping into their systems via the skin and causing cancer and other diseases? Maybe those of us who react are the lucky ones – we have a built-in watchdog for exposure to these chemicals.

      • Update to my last post. I stopped wearing the bra that was causing the problems but the rash continued, then it started to spread to other parts of my body. The rash worsened on my breast and nipple area leaving red irritated scars and peeling skin and what appeared to be skin cancer as well. I hoped that by stopping wearing the bra would end the misery and end the problem but it did not. I racked my brain trying to figure out what would cause this rash and the only thing I could come up with that was different was a new prescription drug I had never taken before. It had aluminum in it. I stopped taking the medication and stopped wearing the bra and the rash is slowly getting better, although I do not know if the scars will go away. I did some research to try to figure out the connection between an aluminum containing drug in combination with a bra made with materials in a class of known endocrine disruption’s and came up with a deadly formula for breast cancer. Aluminum has already been in the news as a being suspect for causing breast cancer in women through anti-antiperspirants. There is a new class of endocrine disruptors now known as “metalloestrogens”.

        Metalloestrogens: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/metalloestrogens-new-class-cancer-causing-estrogens

        When you combine one of those metalloestrogens with another endocrine disruptor, it can cause cancer. Polyurethane spray used in some bra making manufacturing processes is an endocrine disruptor.

        This is the science behind it: “Results reported here demonstrate that aluminium in the form of aluminium chloride or aluminium chlorhydrate can interfere with the function of oestrogen receptors of MCF7 human breast cancer cells both in terms of ligand binding and in terms of oestrogen-regulated reporter gene expression. This adds aluminium to the increasing list of metals capable of interfering with oestrogen action and termed metalloestrogens.”
        Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16045991

        I am afraid to try the bra again after stopping the medication to see if the rash comes back because I do not want rashes, scars or breast cancer. I do believe that the bra was a co-factor and that it was the combination of the aluminum based prescription drug and bra materials composed of endocrine disrupting toxic materials that caused the rash, the scarring and what appears to be a skin cancer.

        We are constantly exposed to aluminum through water treatment processes that use Aluminum based products to clean water and a barrage of chemicals in our foods, drugs, household products, health and beauty products and everyday things we consumers use, or are exposed to at work. At some point, our body simply cannot take anymore and that’s when bad things start happening to us like this. The increase in breast cancer started rising about the same time that aluminum based products were introduced as water treatment choices.

        Horrible rashes and scarring started popping up about the same time that bras were being manufactured in china for multinational bra companies.

        Why did the rash start on the breasts first? Probably because that is the most vulnerable area on a Woman and the place where the most estrogen receptors can be found. Metalloestrogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals are going to zero in on those receptors and start causing damage. They can do this because they mimic your real hormones and alter hormonal activity and not in a good way.

        Ref: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/endocrine_disruptors_508.pdf

      • Wow… that is amazing and alarming. A “one-two” punch of carcinogens. I stopped using anti-persperants long ago because I was suspicious of them. It’s not normal to force your sweat glands not to sweat. Toxins are carried off in sweat. I have been using a “crystal” for many years that is a deodorant but not an anti-persperant.
        Thank you for getting bak to me. Please let me know how you are doing. Also, please check the link in my most recent post about the Greenpeace report on toxins in fabric. It’s very concerning!

  70. Yes Debra, I agree with you. We are the lucky ones in this situation. I don’t want chemicals near my skin ever and I’m glad I reacted so I can stop wearing that crap. But VS is responsible for my few years long misery. I’m so thankful of you for posting here and make us all aware. I tell everybody I know about vs bra causing rashes on me and others, but my friends don’t take it serious. They still wearing those chemicals thinking I’m just sensitive 😦

    • Hello again, Yee. I also feel that VS bears some culpability in all this because they’ve been LONG aware that there is a problem and they refuse to acknowledge it, AND they obviously have done NOTHING to quietly correct the situation. They just DON’T CARE. I will never purchase anything from them again!

  71. I am a member of this club also unfortunately. My story is a bit different, but still the same: In jan 2017, started having itching rash between breasts, recently joined a gym, assumed heat rash. I was wearing the JCpenney ambrielle bra at the time. The larger bra was chaffing and caused the initial rash. I went to the derm dr, to get something for this rash, she said yes, it looks like heat rash, which in turn turned to yeast so she started treating that. which spread to my back, lower abdomen, hips and buttocks. a week later, back to derm dr because I had scratched so much, I got an infection. she didn’t like what she saw, took a biopsy and diagnosed me with scabies. said I prob got them from the gym. treated myself with ivermectin pills and permethrin cream, treated hubby, washed everything I had touched, cleaned the house top to bottom. rash still there. permethrin and ivermectin are used to treat horses and livestock for biting flies and mites. after about $600 in dr bills, POISON cream as I called it, I went to my primary care dr. She said you don’t have scabies and recommend I cut out all meds (steroid cream, ketocanozole cream, Lamisil powder) and use only aveeno or cetaphil cleanser and moisterizer. I basically was poisoning myself and didn’t realize it. Once the rash started clearing up, I decided time for new bras. I knew I had lost some weight, and went to get fitted for a new bra at Victoria Secrets, and yes, I had gone down in size of the band. I had never worn their bras before and saw their sports bras and wanted to try them. The ambrielle wasn’t available in my size so I decided to splurge with VS bras. and the troubles began again. My initial yeast rash had pretty much cleared up with the help of diflucan oral meds from my primary care dr. but when I wore my VS bras, I started itching again. I was miserable. I called my PCP dr again, she referred me to a different derm. I have had 3 biopsies (one showed grover’s disease which is predominently white male over 50 disease-I’m white and over 50, but I sure am not a male). The new derm dr said it looks like contact derm since now the only place I have a rash is on my chest area, under my armpits, red whelps, itching like nobody’s business. I would alternate days of no bra, VS bra, or my cheap cotton walmart bra, which offers no support, just coverage on days I have to wear a bra. I started googling rash, breast, etc and well, you know the story……….we all end up here. I am so glad I found this site. I have itching around my left nipple and it’s actually flattened, so much that I just made a mammogram appointment because I assumed I have breast cancer, since that is a symptom. I am praying its just the bras and not cancer, but I don’t want to take chances. I know I created alot of issues by using the permethrin creams but I only did that on the advise of the first derm doc who said I had scabies. Which will freak you out, trust me!!! my rash is now under my breast, my nipples, on top of my breast, armpits. it has caused perioral dermatitis around my mouth, eczema on my chin area, temple area, eyelids and right at my hairline. I’ve spent at least $1000 since this whole ordeal started. Not all was because of the VS bras, but half was since my rash had virtually gone away, and I splurged on those new damn bras. NOw I’m back to square one of a stronger steroid, 2 creams for my face, one for my breasts and armpits. and I have another derm appt friday May 19. I plan to show him this blog. I have contacted VS about the bras, the chat rep, immediately ask me for my phone number to have a “leader” call me about my issue. I have 6 useless bras all made in china!!!!!. I asked how to get a refund, and she said the leader would call me. that’s all she could/would tell me. but her first ? was “do you have a contact number that a lead person can call you about this issue”. that’s guilty in my book, 100% since it’s a known issue. it’s almost like a car mfg who issues a recall. VS should issue a recall on china made bras. I plan to cut open one of the bras to see how it’s made (if it’s glued or not) as suggested in a comment above. Today, I’m on the search for organic bras. I don’t care about the sexiness factor, I just want a good, sturdy bra that will hold up the girls and not cause me to itch like I’ve slept in an ant bed. Thank you to all who have commented here. I am forever grateful. I am still getting that mammogram, but I will wait about 4-5 weeks to make sure this rash is gone before I go, since I don’t want a false positive in case that could happen.

    WordPress.com / Gravatar.com credentials can be used.

    • HOLY COW. What a nightmare! Wow, Robin… welcome to this unhappy club. 😦
      Well, you have come to the realization that we all have – it doesn’t matter how cute and sexy the bra is… NOTHING is worth itching like that. I itched myself raw, was bruised… STILL could not stop itching. And the itching continues for a bit even after you take the bras off, but subsides after about 3 weeks in my experience. The ONLY helpful product I found was Gold Bond Powder.
      The scabies issue… egads. And all the “poison”… and then the VS rash! You have been through hell!
      I found sports bras (like the Champion brand) to be benign while I was healing. They aren’t that supportive, but if you get them one size too small, that helps a little. You can find them at Target.
      I switched to Ambrielle, Lane Bryant and Vanity Fair bras without any return of the rash. However, NONE of them fit correctly and they look dumpy. But, this is the price we pay if we don’t want to feel like our breasts are covered in poison oak.
      VS is aware of the women with this problem. We are hypersensitive to something in the bras. However, of their entire customer base, we represent such a tiny number, they won’t do anything about it. And, like someone with a peanut allergy, it’s up to us to recognize our symptoms and not purchase a product that we react to.
      I have also talked with a VS leader and told her that VS could corner the market on SEXY hypoallergenic bras, but that was several years ago and no such product was introduced.
      Bottom line, I just don’t think VS cares. They make too much money off the women who don’t react.
      Please come back and tell me how you are doing with the rash and what your docs and tests said. And… hope you are feeling better soon.

      • Update: I contacted VS by chat on 5/13. Lori-the rep said someone would contact me. They didn’t. I called their customer serv # on Friday. Was transferred to Jo who assigned me a case #. She had difficulty finding my purchases even though I gave her my account number etc. I have my receipts for the 8 bras I purchased in March and April. At first she told me that all she could find on my account was a $68 fragrance purchase. And 2 bras I ordered online and had already returned because i ordered the wrong size. She told me to take all of the bras in my posession to my local store and they would contact her and issue me a credit. I told her I had already paid off my VS card. She then said it would take 3-4 weeks to get a check. But she still could not find my purchases. She said she could. It refund anything until the bras were back in their posession. We talked back and forth for a few more minutes with no resolution. She said she would call me back. About 20 minutes later she called back and lo and behold. She found my purchases on my account. No questions asked this time just said she’s sending me a full refund. And asked me to destroy the bras. I asked didn’t they want them back and she said no. They just want to make this situation right for me and they are refunding my $ including shipping. And they do not want bras back. Is it strange that at first she asked so many questions. And couldn’t even find my purchases. But 20 min later she was able to locate my purchases and my account. And then she offered full refund and didn’t want merchandise back. I will come back and update when I receive refund. (2-4 weeks). Good luck everyone. I won’t ever purchase another bra from there no matter how cute they are. ☹️

      • Oh forgot to add. The $68 fragrance purchase that Jo was referencing wasn’t mine. I’ve never bought anything at VS except those 8 bras. Ever. And the biopsy came back as nonspecific dermatitis. Said it looked like a chemical reaction or contact dermatitis. I’m holding the bras as ransom until I get my refund. Once I do I will update again. Thanks. Robin

    • Hi Robin,
      Your last two entries… wow… really makes you wonder if something fishy is going on, doesn’t it! AND – you are the first person to report a confirmed “chemical allergy” diagnosis! I hope you hold on to those bras for evidence! Thanks for reporting back!

  72. I was searching inline to see what the heck my rash was from and I saw your post. I just remembered that I just bought 2 Bralettes from VS the week of May 7th. The raah has just soread to both boobs and it wakes me up every night itching and stinging! I am heading to my naturopath to see if he can test me for chemical sensitivity. We shall see! Indefinately think that could be the cause but what is the cure other than not waering those two bras? Maybe over time it will go away on its own.

      • Hello Leslie,
        If you are allergic to whatever is in the bra fabric… it won’t go away. If anything, you will become increasingly sensitive to it. The only solution is to stop wearing the bras.
        I would love to know what your naturopath has to say!
        Good luck, and hope you are feeling better soon!

  73. I’m currently experiencing the same issue! I bought $100 worth of bras and underwear and got a flare up from BOTH. It’s the worst, I’m currently using a treatment from my MD. Never again will I buy from VS, I’m so disappointed 😭

    • Hello Bobbie – welcome to our unhappy Itchy Sisters Club. :/
      So sorry to hear you have had this experience too. Like most of us – there is no VS bra that is sexy enough to endure this itching and rash. Hope you find a new product you like.

  74. Omg! I had what I thought was a good new Bra in my dresser and now I’m covered in hives after wearing only a normal work day! This is awful! They’re literally pus filled hives in a perfect shape of a Bra! I’m so angry and googled it thinking I wouldn’t find any connection but then I see your blog. I bought this Bra awhile back so now what can I do or what has happened with this issue? This is insanity that we are basically being embalmed literally alive! I am a livid over this! Surely there is a legal consequence to the Corporation. Please tell me what to do 😦
    Help! This is very painful!

    • Oh and I forgot to mention that I suffer from a rare illness and I will not let this go! This could be seriously damaging to ones health! I can not believe they have literally ignored all these women! I’m still reeling from the fact that my google search found this. I honestly was in denial that it could be the Bra and expected my search to find no matches. This is a serious health issue that needs to be addressed with consumer affairs in a class action basis. I am not throwing the Bra away nor am I going to accept just a refund. Are they kidding! This is a lawsuit! Pain and suffering not to mention possible scars for life or worst someone literally dying or having a severe brain damaging reaction.

      https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/drywall/docs/whatyoushouldknowaboutformaldehyde.pdf

      • Hello Samantha,
        Sadly, yes, there is a LOT of feedback from women collected on this blog who are having allergic reactions to VS bras. However, amongst the larger customer base of VS, we represent a tiny percentage of their customers. So, it is more cost effective for them to ignore us than it is to deal with the problem. Of course, dealing with the problem would mean ADMITTING the problem exists, which VS will not do.

        Their position is that there is nothing wrong with their bras, there is something wrong with US. We are like those with peanut allergies – the vast majority of people are not allergic to peanuts. Those who are have to be constantly vigilant about watching for peanuts in their food. However, food manufacturers will put this information on a package to alert customers. Clothing manufacturers will not. All the consumer can do is learn to recognize skin reactions to chemicals in clothing and stop wearing the clothing. Washing does not seem to help.

        As for a lawsuit, one woman already tried, and the VS attorneys destroyed her in court. But since that time SO MANY women have had this problem, and I know for certain that VS is aware of it because I’ve spoken to one of their reps on the phone about this, and they are following me on Twitter (and not because they’re a fan of my columns!), so it seems to me that if VS is KNOWINGLY producing a produce containing known allergens and still marketing it without a warning label, there may be some legal liability there. But… who proceeds with it and how? I know I can’t afford such an effort. I keep hoping an attorney will express an interest, pro bono, but haven’t heard a peep from any attorney as of yet. If you have ideas about a class action lawsuit, please let us know on this blog.

        In the meantime, please see your doctor and have your condition documented. Take photos! And, keep that bra! It is evidence!

        The good news is that if you stop wearing the bra, in about 3 weeks, the rash should clear up. I found Gold Bond Powder to help with the itching but other than that, time seems to be the greatest healer.

        Please keep in touch, and let me know how you are doing, or what you have discovered.

  75. I found your blog after I purchased my first VS bras last weekend, I wore one to bed and the next day I found a huge painful rash on my back right by where the straps connect into the bra itself, almost goes from the hooks to my arm pit, no hydrocortisone cream orand antibacterial ointment is helping. I didnt think about it being my bra since its only on my back and I’ve NEVER had anything like this before…the only change or new item is the VS bras! It hurts sooo bad and its super itchy, but so far what I’ve found is…all these bra rashes started almost ten years ago…I wish I had read this blog before I bought these bras…I’ll definitely keep them and take pictures of my rash. I’m so sorry for anyone else who experienced this!!!

    • Hello Ayla,
      Welcome to our Itchy Sisters club. :/

      The only thing that seems to help the itching is Gold Bond Powder and time. It takes about 3 weeks of not wearing the bra for the rash to heal. If you are brave, put it back on and if the rash comes roaring back… it’s the bra.

      Sadly, there is no choice but to seek out a new product. There is nothing “Very Sexy” about a boob rash!!!

      Take care, and come back and let me know if you’ve found something that works for you.

      🙂

  76. Omg!!!! I’ve had this God awful rash on and off for 3 years!!!! I’m a nurse so I knew it was some kind of dermatitis. I’ve switched laundry soaps, soap for the shower, tried medications, creams, lotions. Nothing helps. I’ve been in misery! While doing research I stumbled upon this page about VS bras made in China. Nearly all my bras and underwear are from VS. All purchased in 2015 and 2016 in the discount area. I looked all my bras were made in China 4 of them. And 6 pairs of underwear. My rash is on my breasts and on my sides where my underwear would sit, lower stomach, and yes down there! I have been so embarrassed to even tell anyone about the rash down under. But it’s only on my skin! I have even been taking proboitics and yeast medications and creams thinking I had a yeast issue at one point. However it wasn’t itchy “in there” like a typical yeast issue. I can’t believe my favorite products are scaring me and making me suffer!

    • Hello Brittany,
      Well, sadly – you better believe it. You beloved VS products are the likely cause of your discomfort. You can test it out by not wearing the items until the rash is completely clear. Then, if you are brave, put them back on and see if it comes roaring back. I found that my sensitivity worsened over time. One bra in particular made me feel like I was covered in poison oak… the itching was irresistible. The only thing I found to help was Gold Bond Powder and time.
      And then… you have to search for a new product, and while they aren’t as nice… not being itchy is MUCH nicer!
      I have been wearing cotton bras by Ambrielle (JC Penney) and Lane Bryant without any itching, however, the bras aren’t that well made. After a few washes they start to look ratty. I also am wearing Vanity Fair bras from Macy’s without incident.
      So… please come back and let us all know if you find a product you like that doesn’t cause misery, and thank goodness you now know what the problem is: your bra!

  77. I still have mine, bout it last year in Denver, but have only worn it a few time, took it out of the drawer again last week, got the rash again, was going to send it to the thrift shop but instead, Googled ‘bra made in Sri Lanka, itchy’ came up with your blog. What have you found in the last 2 years?
    Thanks for the warning,
    Jackie

    • Hello Jackie,
      I haven’t really found out much over the last two years, other than that women CONTINUE to have this problem, with brand new bras, EVEN THOUGH VS knows there is an issue. They just do not care.
      I have switched to Ambrielle (JC Penney) and Lane Bryant bras, but they are just “meh.” I am still in search of an acceptable substitute, as most of us here are. :/

  78. I’ve been getting rashes from some of their bra tops. The bumps look like huge mosquito bites! Happens every June when i pull them out to wear. I just realized it was from these tops. Is that what your rash was like?

  79. Update on Bra Reaction: The bra I had a bad reaction to was WARNER’S THIS IS NOT A BRA® T-SHIRT BRA, Style #1593
    Content
    Fabric: 82% Nylon, 18% Elastane.= (an elastic polyurethane material, used especially for hosiery, underwear, and other close-fitting clothing.)
    Exclusive of elastic and decoration.
    Country of Origin: Imported
    I’m pretty sure it is the polyurethane as mentioned before.. If you look closely at the photo, you will see there are no seams in the cup portion. I suspect they glued it together with polyurethane spray at some cheap made in china factory. The bra fell apart after a few months of washing’s and that is when I began to suspect they also used polyurethane spray to glue the fabric to the cup on both sides.

    Moisture Curing Polyurethane Adhesive Glue for Bra Fabric
    http://highnic.en.made-in-china.com/product/qCPJzmOHOacx/China-Moisture-Curing-Polyurethane-Adhesive-Glue-for-Bra-Fabric.html

    Polyurethane spray is not much different than the polyurethane spray foam used as insulation in homes. The amount used for gluing fabric to bra cups is a different consistency but the chemicals both fall under the category of polyurethane spray. They are both used to cure and create a moisture and vapor barrier. The home insulation spray foam is so toxic that workers have to wear respirators and follow OSHA guidelines. https://www.lhsfna.org/index.cfm/lifelines/december-2014/the-dangers-of-using-spray-foam-insulation/ SERIOUSLY? They recommend that workers protect their SKIN and their LUNGS, because of the dangers of exposure to isocyanates. If your bra was exposed to excess heat through washing drying or maybe even body heat, who is to say that the heat is not breaking down the polyurethane spray and exposing you to isocyanates? Once cured, polyurethane products can release isocyanates if they are heated, burned, cut or abraded. China does not have a reputation for being concerned about consumer health and especially in relation to products made in china and shipped to American consumers. Just because the can says “Good Super Resin” or the product is described as “green” or “environmentally friendly does not mean it’s okay to spray that stuff on bra’s made to touch our skin. Even OSHA says “Employers should consult the safety data sheet (SDS) for any product that could contain isocyanates and find safer substitutes if possible”. I don’t think ANYONE was looking out for our best interests when they decided to us polyurethane spray for bra manufacturing. Today it may be a horrible rash and scars. Tomorrow it could be breast cancer and lung disease. We need to do our own research and look out for ourselves because we the consumers do not need to be bra victims.

    • NO ONE is watching out for our best interests, except us. It’s unlikely our government will do anything about chemicals in fabric until someone dies. The problem is that, as you mentioned, it could take years for cancer or other diseases to develop, and it may not be linked back to the chemical exposure overload.

      Thanks for this information… please stay in touch!

  80. Add on to last comment: Found on this consumer safety website https://dii.americanchemistry.com/Resources/Frequently-Asked-Questions/ concerning polyurethane sprays, glues or resins: ” Consumer products containing uncured diisocyanates (e.g. certain adhesives and glues) generally are accompanied by product safety information like warning labels, including the characteristics of the chemicals, their approximate cure time and how to properly protect yourself while handling the product. The key word here is UNCURED DIISOCYANATES, and the REF: is CERTAIN ADHESIVES AND GLUES. This means there is a connection between the glues, resins or sprays being uncured diisocynates.and they are what is being used to glue the fabric on the bra cups. The difference between cured and uncured is that the cured products are relatively safe and the uncured are not.

    • In your other posts, it notes that cured products can release isocyanates of heated… well, our bodies heat the products, and so do dryers. I wonder how much heat? I am tempted to swear off bras and just wear sports bras. :/

      • Hello, just found your page when I googled “breast rash from bra.” I’ve worn vanity fair 76380 style underwire bras for 4 years. Last year I needed to update and was happy to find Kohl’s still carried that style – so I purchased 2. After I wore these new bras I started with the breast rash. I thought it was heat rash. I stopped wearing them and my rash went away – my skin is still discolored. I’ve read what everyone else has been through with VS bras and didn’t decide to chime in until I saw you post about the Vanity Fair bras. I purchased 5 of these bras in the past year and experienced the same rash with each. I finally decided that it couldn’t just be only me having this problem – that’s when I found you.

  81. Hello Kathy,
    Well, I am not surprised. It’s not the bras per se – it’s the fabric, and it appears that other companies are now buying the same Chinese fabric. :/
    I have been wearing cotton Ambrielle bras without any problems.
    Please come back and tell us what works for you and no – you are NOT alone!

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