5 Ways Your Bra is Irritating Your Skin – And What to Do About It!



In an ideal world, your bra shouldn’t be causing you irritation. But if it is, don’t ignore it! Below, we’re filling you in on 5 reasons why your bra is irritating your skin and what you can do about it. (Nobody has time for an uncomfortable bra and underboob rash!) Read on to find out why your bra is irritating your skin.

But first, can a bra cause irritation?

If you’re wearing the wrong bra size or style, it might cause you to feel itchy or uncomfortable. Aside from poor fit, a bra can cause irritation if it’s made from a particular fabric that doesn’t agree with your skin. Bra irritation can also occur if the style of the bra is causing you to sweat more than normal (more on this later). If you’re concerned about physical irritations, you might want to seek guidance from your doctor

Why does my bra irritate my skin?

In theory, your bra is there to support you, not irritate you. This is why skin irritation caused by uncomfortable bras is a total letdown. This irritation is, first and foremost, a sign that your bra isn’t working for you. So, ditch it. There’s no point in suffering. This irritation may be because you have sensitive skin, or it can be a sign of something more serious.

5 warning signs that your bra is irritating you

To make things easier for you, we’ve identified the top 5 ways your bra might be irritating you and what you can do about it. Read on to learn. 

1. You’re suffering from Intertrigo

Intertrigo is a common skin rash that develops within the folds of the skin, so it’s very common to see it under the breasts. It can happen at any age to anyone. Symptoms of intertrigo can range from mild to severe and predominantly include pain, itchiness, and burning underneath the breast and within skin folds. You may also have red, raw, or cracked skin. 

Intertrigo is mainly caused by excess moisture (like from sweating), heat, friction, and lack of airflow. The warm, damp environment increases your risk of irritation and can encourage yeast and bacteria growth. To decrease your risk, wear well-fitted, comfortable bras that allow for proper airflow, ideally in breathable fabrics such as cotton.   

2. Your exposed underwire is causing a nickel allergy

Nothing is more irritating than a popped-out underwire poking at you all day long. Not only is it annoying, but an exposed underwire could lead to a nickel allergy rash. Many bra underwires and clips contain nickel, a metal found in a lot of everyday items, such as coins, zippers, eyeglass frames, and even cosmetics.   

And while this common metal doesn’t affect everyone. Some people develop a nickel allergy rash whenever the skin comes in contact with nickel, like from their bra underwire. Symptoms of a nickel allergy include a red, itchy rash or bumps on the skin. You may also notice dry patches around the area that resemble a burn. 

This allergic reaction can happen after prolonged exposure to the metal, or you may notice that you’ve always been sensitive to nickel. Either way, the best course of action is to avoid wearing a bra that contains nickel. You may also want to consult with your doctor on the best course of treatment if the rash is persistent.  

3. You’re experiencing underboob sweat rash

Underboob sweat is bound to happen in places with high temps and humidity, especially if you’re blessed with a larger bust. Excessive sweating in and around the breast results from heat, excessive sweat, lack of air circulation, and wearing a bra that’s too suffocating around the bust. This build-up of moisture underneath the bust and in the cleavage can cause skin irritation, intense itching, and even an infection if you’re not careful.  

To help with underboob sweat rash, it’s a good idea to wear breathable, loose-fitting clothing that won’t trap moisture. The same concept applies to bras. Breathable bra fabrics, such as cotton, can reduce underboob sweat and your chance of getting a sweat rash. You also want to change out sweaty bras and shirts frequently to avoid irritation. And if you can, consider going braless for optimum airflow.  

4. You have acne on your breasts (boobne)

“Boobne” is a commonly used term to describe acne on your breasts. And while the pimples are relatively harmless, that doesn’t mean they can’t be irritating physically and emotionally. Just like the rest of the skin on our body, acne on the breasts occur when pores in the skin become clogged with dead skin cells and then aggravated with additional bacteria, oil, and dirt.  

According to MedicalNewsToday, many factors can contribute to boobne, including wearing tight or irritating clothing and bras. This is especially true for tight-fitted sports bras, which can cause dirt, oil, sweat, and bacteria to build up on the skin. To help prevent boobne, investing in a high-quality, properly fitted sports bra is always a good idea. At Bendon, we offer an array of sports bras crafted from breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you cool and comfortable as you get your sweat on.  

Also noteworthy: lounging around in your sports bra post-workout allows more friction and sweat build-up, increasing your risk of boobne. To protect your skin, change out of your workout gear straight after a workout and hop in the shower to rinse away lingering dirt and oils. 

5. You’re experiencing an allergic reaction

Skin irritation, inflammation, and changes in texture could be attributed to an allergic reaction. The potential causes may differ, depending on what you’re allergic to. An allergic reaction to anything from metal on jewellery, soaps, detergents, perfumes, food additives, or outdoor irritants can cause a rash to develop. For instance, if the rash is on your shoulders, it could be something in your bra straps causing your skin to react. Other reactions, such as dermatitis (a catch-all term for skin irritation, discolouration, and inflammation) can be caused when the nipple or skin around it comes in contact with a particular material.  

Treatments for dermatitis and allergic reaction rashes start by avoiding the material or ingredient causing the irritation, which can sometimes be tricky to find since even particular fabrics or small ingredients in your cosmetics can trigger a reaction. Consider using fragrance-free products and wearing soft materials to calm the rash. You may also want to consult with a physician for treatments if symptoms are really bothersome or don’t quickly reside.  

How do I stop my bra from irritating me?

Luckily, there are some steps you can take to prevent your bra from irritating you. Here are our top tips:

  • Wash your bras regularly  
  • Ensure you are treating the specific problem  
  • Make sure your bra fits correctly  
  • If you have sensitive skin, be sure to choose hypoallergenic bras 
  • Ensure you are buying bras for your breast shape.  

Bra styles for sensitive skin available at Bendon

If you’re experiencing any of the irritations listed above, consider swapping to sensitive skin-friendly bras that will reduce your risk of irritation. The best bras for sensitive skin will be soft, seamless styles made from breathable materials. They’re typically free from underwire, metal closures, and scratchy fabrics. If you’re shopping for a bra made for sensitive skin, you’ll love the ones below.

Lovable Nikki Soft Cup Bra

This wire-free soft cup bra style is ideal for everyday wear. It’s crafted with a seamfree knit fabric that never skimps on comfort, so you can wear it all day and adjustable straps that let you customise your fit. Plus, there are no tags that can irritate your skin. Available in sizes AA to D.

Shop the Lovable Nikki Soft Cup Bra

Bendon COMfit Collection Soft Cup Plunge Bra

If you’re looking for a non-irritating bra safe for sensitive skin, you can’t go wrong with the COMfit Collection. This plunge bra uses innovative bonding technology to maintain maximum comfort with a wire-free, supportive fit along the underbust and side bust. The double-layered moulded cups and uber-soft foam pads are seamfree underneath clothing and are comfortable enough for daily wear. This plunging bra features multiway straps that allow you to wear it with low-cut tops, racerbacks, and other styles. Available up to a DD/E cup.

Shop the Bendon COMfit Collection Soft Cup Plunge Bra




Impression Wire Free Bra

$29.97 $59.95



The Icon Bralette

$49.97 $99.95



Comfit Collection Wire Free Plunge Bra

$41.96 $59.95



Comfit Collection Wire Free Bra

$41.96 $59.95



Comfit Collection Front Opening Wire Free Bra




Mysterious Wire Free Bra

$50.97 $84.95


COMfit Collection Soft Cup Plunge Bra



COMfit Collection Wire Free Bra



COMfit Collection Wire Free Bra



Bendon Restore Front Opening Wire Free Bra



Bendon Restore Front Opening Wire Free Bra

$23.97 $39.95


Midnight Express Wire Free Bra


Ready to find the perfect bra?

Don’t settle for a bra that’s irritating you. Especially if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve listed above. Instead, invest in a bra that takes your comfort seriously (and be on the lookout for potentially irritating ingredients or materials). 

Shop our selection of high-quality bras to find your perfect fit and put bra irritation behind you once and for all.

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