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February 4th, 2019
Posted In: Articles
Hypoallergenic wetsuits are starting to make a splash (pun very much intended) in the wetsuit industry for those who suffer from neoprene or skin allergies. Neoprene and/or the glues and solvents used to make a wetsuit are typically to blame for allergic reactions. So, what is it about neoprene that causes an allergic reaction on the skin? Patagonia received a lot of inquiries about their neoprene-free line of wetsuits (called Yulex) from customers who deal with skin allergies. Consumers want to know if Patagonia wetsuits are hypoallergenic and if the suits are a better option for people with neoprene sensitivities.
While it is extremely difficult to create a product that is skin-friendly for all (because not all allergies are created equal), Patagonia worked some serious magic to create a line of neoprene allergy-free, sustainable, fair trade and potentially hypoallergenic wetsuits.
What exactly is a neoprene sensitivity and how do you know if you have one? Neoprene may cause dermatological issues such as allergic contact dermatitis or even miliaria rubra. Symptoms of a neoprene allergy could include itching, swelling, a red spot or spots on the skin, rash, or even a tingling or burning sensation. These allergic reactions are typically the body’s response to “the accelerants used to manufacture the man-made rubber, specifically thiourea compounds and mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT)”.**
Miliaria rubra typically causes the tingling/burning sensation or raised red spots while contact dermatitis causes itching and/or swelling. Not only can the neoprene material itself cause an allergic reaction, the compounds and materials in the glue could also trigger a reaction for some. Patagonia took these factors into consideration when creating Yulex wetsuits.
We advise that you should ask your doctor for a list of chemical names that you need to avoid if you have skin allergies or sensitive skin.
Neoprene allergies are common – don’t think you’re alone. And while everyone’s skin reacts differently to chemicals or materials, Patagonia’s Yulex line of wetsuits may be a great hypoallergenic wetsuit option for those who deal with neoprene sensitivities/allergies!
If you’re not ready to purchase a Yulex wetsuit, contact our customer service team either via live chat, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 866-906-7848 and they can set you up with a Yulex material wetsuit sample. You can test this sample around your arm or leg to see if a reaction occurs!
** Reference: Stern, E. B., Callinan, N., Hank, M., Lewis, E. J., Schousboe, J. T., & Ytterberg, S. R. (1998). Neoprene splinting: Dermatological issues. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9693703
I am just curious what the source, for the list of chemicals not in Patagonia wetsuits, is.
This list is actually from Patagonia corporate. They sent this email out to the retailers listing what is and what is not in their line of Yulex wetsuits. Thanks!
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