ZocdocAnswersHow do you find out what you're allergic to?

Question

How do you find out what you're allergic to?

Like foods, things on your skin, gases, etc. How do you find out if you're allergic to something? My neck breaks out in a rash when I wear collared shirts, but I have to for my stupid office job.

Answer

It definitely sounds like you have narrowed down what is causing your skin to break out, and it is indeed entirely possible that you are allergic or have a sensitivity to something that you are encountering in the collars of your shirt. One possibility other than allergy is simply that the collar of your shirt is rubbing against your neck and causing mechanical irritation. This most commonly occurs if the collar is too tight, and it can be easily remedied simply by getting yourself properly fitted for a dress shirt at a men's clothing store. If this is not what is going on, then an allergy is a possibility. Most common would be an allergy to the laundry detergent that you are using. You may want to try brands and see if that makes a difference. It is also possible that the problem is with a particular type of fabric; you may want to try experimenting with different shirt fabrics until you find one that doesn't cause you to break out. If these tips don't help, check with your your primary care doctor. They can diagnose the rash and help you develop a treatment plan.

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