PSA: You *might* be allergic to your underwear, and the results are not pretty

Feeling a little itchy below the belt? Don’t freak out! It may not be as bad as you think. You could just be allergic to your underwear.

Okay… maybe you should freak out just a little bit.

According to allergist Tim Mainardi, of Hudson Allergy in NYC, it’s not that uncommon to be allergic to some very common things. Even your favorite bra, briefs or bikini may not be safe. The dyes, chemicals and preservatives found in underwear fabrics like latex can cause a contact dermatitis in certain people. And while it may be a relief to find out that itchy rash that’s been bugging you isn’t something more severe, an underwear allergy can still lead to some pretty nasty results. Sufferers can develop small lesions or fluid-filled blisters around the affected area. Who would want those on any part of their body, let alone their most private ones?

Luckily, there is hope! There are plenty of companies that make hypoallergenic clothing with materials like lycra. But if you do have a favorite pair of underwear that you’re just not willing to let go of, no matter how bad a rash it gives you, Dr. Mainardi has another solution. Simply create a barrier between you and offending fabric. In laymen’s terms, just tuck your shirt into your underwear.

Other every day allergens on Mainardi’s list included water, cold weather and exercise. So on the upside, his findings give you a good excuse next time you want to skip working out. You may literally be allergic to the gym.