Show me your boobs

breast-pe2Show me your boobs.

I don’t mean in a “flash your titties and I’ll toss you some Mardi Gras beads” way. Or “just for fun” or “let’s be naughty.” This is serious. Post some photos of your breasts, right here on this thread. Not pretty tittie photos. Photos of the miserable rashes, welts and bruising caused by your bra.

When I first started writing about the horrific rash caused by my Victoria’s Secret bras, information was very scarce online or anywhere else about this condition. It took me a long while to recognize the pattern of unbearable itching connected to two specific VS bras I’d just purchased. I started searching for information, and discovered the story of a women who believed it was formaldehyde in the bras that caused her allergic reaction — which looked just like mine: ugly, angry red welts, with an itch worse than poison oak, so bad that scratching until I bruised and broke the skin was less painful than trying to tolerate the itch.

I started writing about bra rashes, and rashes caused by Victoria’s Secret bras, and women began pouring from the woodwork, reporting similar conditions. The vast majority were associated with wearing VS bras. Since that time, other brands have popped up, creating similar reactions, but VS is still the largest offender — likely because they’re the largest manufacturer.

People have asked about suing VS, but I think that’s a dead end. It’s been tried, and it failed. For one thing, their position is that they don’t add chemicals to their bras. True enough — the chemicals are already in the fabric and they purchase that fabric after the fact.  So, they can legally claim innocence. For another, no one seems to have died from “contact allergic dermatitis” caused by whatever is in the bra fabric. That said, who knows who might have died from absorbing those chemicals over long periods of time? Those of us who react to the chemicals are the lucky ones — we stop wearing the bras. Those who don’t continue to expose themselves to toxins. Who knows how much they have absorbed through the skin, and what those chemicals do once they reach a toxic load? Could there be a connection to breast cancer?

VS will not acknowledge this problem, let alone take responsibility. I’ve talked to their reps on the phone, and they carefully choose their words so as not to even hint of culpability. But they KNOW there’s a problem. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have reached out to me. Yes, you read that right: VS contacted ME, not vice versa. They KNOW. Many, many women have returned their bras to the stores, and get their money back, no questions asked. Of course they do. If VS has the bras, they can destroy the evidence.

The most egregious facet of this story is that VS is aware of the problem, and they just don’t care. Despite customer loyalty, despite the fact that all of us with the allergy would flock to buy the products we want (and sadly, no one has found an acceptable substitute product), they just don’t care about us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve easily spent thousands at Victoria’s Secret over my life. Add us all up, all the money we’ve collectively spent… it’s substantial. Amazingly, VS doesn’t care. Which reveals just how much money they’re making. Easily enough money to deal with this issue. They don’t even have to acknowledge it. They could just quietly make it go away.

I suppose, legally speaking, it really isn’t VS’s problem that some of their customers react so violently to whatever is in that fabric. It ultimately isn’t their fault that some of their customers have allergies. We are like people with any other allergy — peanuts, eggs, fish. It is up to us to recognize our symptoms and carefully avoid products that contain that allergen. That said, food products are labeled with their contents. Clothing is not, other than basic fabric, like cotton, linen, etc. It’s time that allergens and chemical content are listed on labels so those of us with the allergy can safely buy products, rather than suffer the “trial and error” method of excruciating itching, bruising and welts.

It would also be wonderful if VS and other garment manufacturers could produce hypoallergenic lines of clothing. Make them just as cute and sexy as the others — but without the poison. They’re capable of doing this… they just don’t want to.

However, maybe if there was a collection of visible evidence of what this chemical allergy does, it would not only be taken more seriously, but maybe some intrepid clothing/lingerie manufacturer would strike out and make hypoallergenic bras and panties that don’t cause pain and misery. So… show me your boobs.

If you have that bra rash, take a selfie or ask your partner, a friend, or family member to take one for you. If possible, to protect from being labeled as porn and banned from social media sites, cover your nipples with your hands. Just get a picture of the rash caused by your bra. When I’ve collected enough, I’ll launch a Facebook page for this. VS, and all the other clothing manufacturers may be ignoring this issue and hoping it will disappear, but actual photographic evidence is much harder to ignore than words.

Let’s get the evidence IN THEIR FACE.

One more reason to post photos: It will help the many, many women out there who are frantic because they believe they have some sort of exotic breast disease or cancer discover that they aren’t sick after all. It’s their bras that are making them sick.

We are only a few weeks away from Breast Cancer Awareness Month — October. I’m hoping we will have enough photos and testimonies to have a Facebook page by October 1. If all the women who have responded over the years to my Boob Blog posts participate, it will be MORE than enough.

So, show me your boobs. Because pictures speak a thousand words. Let’s start yelling.

10 thoughts on “Show me your boobs

  1. I have just had an experience with allergic contact dermatitis after wearing a VS bra for one day. I purchased four new bras on Saturday 9/1/18 and wore one that afternoon. I felt irritated that day and thought it was too tight so when I wore it on Sunday I made sure I loosened it. By the end of Sunday I was feeling very irritated and could not wait to take my bra off and go to bed after a long day. When I woke up on Monday morning (after itching all night) I had the worst rash ever that looked like a burn. I couldn’t stand the pain and went to urgent care and was diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis and was given a series of prednisone and a prescription strength antihistamine. I have pictures of the rash, which still hurts pretty bad. Please let me know how to send you the pictures and I will.


    • Hello Sandra,
      So sorry to hear that you have become one of our ranks. 😦
      If you could email the photo to me, I will start collecting them in a file. I don’t think you can upload photos with posts on this website.
      You can email to:
      Glad to hear you got some medical help! The discomfort is unbearable!


    • Same here. I wore my bra once and started itching really bad. I thought to just wash it and i’ll be ok…..wrong. I wore it last night, now I can’t sleep because it’s itching so bad. I purchased 2 bras that day, Body by Victoria and Dream Angles. Only 1 is giving me problems.


      • Hello Keisha,
        It is SO FRUSTRATING that this is STILL happening! And that was also my experience – two bras, exactly the same except for color. One caused the allergic reaction and one didn’t. So, that seems to confirm that it is the fabric itself that contains the allergen.
        As for your bras, if you want to test the theory – don’t wear the bra until the rash is completely healed. Then put it back on. If the reaction comes roaring back – it’s the bra.
        Please keep in touch and let me know about your experience. And remember, nothing is worth this much agony, no matter how beautiful or sexy it is. There’s nothing sexy about a horrific rash all over your breasts.


  2. Hi I am from Germany and wa shaped to buy two bras in California last year . The first one had a plastic ring on the back and I had really irritated and hurting skin near it so I thought it’s too tight or rough . Happened twice . I tried the second one today what burned a little less but still was uncomfortable after hours and now I have red stripes all over where the bra went .. seems a mild reaction in comparison to everyone but it’s impossible to wear it


    • Hello Nina, it sound like you also have an allergy to whatever is in that fabric. Please see your doctor and have it documented in your medical record. Tell him/her it is likely “Contact Allergic Dermatitis.” Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about it other than to stop wearing the bras. :/


  3. Good morning.

    I came across your blog after experiencing the same issues with a VS bra. My back started to break out in red rash and was very itchy. At first I thought it was due to dry skin in the winter until I noticed the rash was in the same shape as my bra straps.
    I stopped using the bra and applying cream. One day thoughtlessly I put it back on and it flarred up again.
    Its worrying to think that I am not the only woman who has experienced this AND that it’s still ongoing.


    • Dear K., It is SO frustrating and disheartening that this situation continues. I think until someone actually dies from this allergic reaction, THEN clothing manufacturers will take it seriously. VS is well aware of this problem, and simply doesn’t care, as evidenced by the fact that they continue to put out products containing chemicals that some of their customers react to. They do NOT care about us! Don’t buy their products!


  4. I also get rashes on my breasts from bras. I myself have never owned a VS bra. Mostly because I never wanted to pay for their the brand. but I get rashes from the cups themselves. Almost every bra I try, I end up with an unbearable rash. Especially the strapless sticky bras. I am curious whether the VS bras that are causing rashes are from the elastic in them? I know I have a latex allergy, so chances are I am probably allergic to elastic as well. and I noticed in the greenpeace international pdf, that some of the VS bras contain up to 35% elastic. Just a thought.


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