Dermatitis can show up as dry, red, or itchy patches and bumps on the skin. It’s important to note that dermatitis can be caused by a number of factors, but contact dermatitis is generally caused by something irritating touching the skin (hence the phrase contact dermatitis).
Shirazi gets even more specific by sharing, “I notice this a lot in workout clothes because we sweat, we’re active, [and] there’s a lot of friction.” That sweat and friction can help the aforementioned chemicals leak out of the clothing and onto your skin. She notes that some areas may be more prone to irritation than others, including the armpits and back of the knees—coincidentally, those areas are also the ones that tend to receive the most friction from the apparel.
When it comes to addressing dermatitis, it’s generally best to see a dermatologist, as there are many different kinds of reactions, and a professional can help you identify your personal trigger. However, many derms will recommend cutting down on all potentially irritating products (exfoliators, stripping cleansers, fragrance-laden formulas, et al.) and opt for something simple, soothing, and hydrating for the skin until you get to the bottom of the issue.