Don’t like doing laundry? It’s about 1,000 times better than contracting lice, eczema, or scabies. According to dermatologists, you’re at risk for all of the above by wearing new clothes without running them through the washing machine at least once.
Dr. Donald Belsito of Columbia University Medical Center says that the type of clothing dye and traces of formaldehyde commonly found in many articles of factory-made clothing can often have severe impacts on human skin. (Urea formaldehyde resins are used to prevent cotton-polyester blends from wrinkling and to limit mildew).
Allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis, both forms of eczema, can be caused by wearing fabrics containing the anti-wrinkle chemical. The symptoms are similar – flaky skin and rashes.
Furthermore, because there is no real way of knowing how many hands have touched an article of clothing before you buy it, Belsito notes: “I have seen cases of lice that were possibly transmitted from trying on in the store, and there are certain infectious diseases that can be passed on through clothing … The other infestation I’ve seen from clothing is scabies.”
So go ahead and wash your new jeans immediately!