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Andrés Hevea from Caracas, Venezuela: Dear underwear experts, I have a slight latex allergy, which makes wearing most underwear uncomfortable. The elastic in the waistband and leg openings leaves my skin irritated and dry. Are there any underwear brands that offer pairs for guys like me?
Michael Kleinmann, editor in chief of The Underwear Expert: You’re not alone, Andrés. Men with mild latex allergies need to be careful with their underwear. Latex elastic can cause serious irritation and severe allergic reactions. It is extremely important to double check with your doctor and with the brand that a pair of underwear is safe for you to wear if this is a serious problem.
To give you a place to start, we do have several suggestions. First, there’s the Hanro Cotton Sporty Boxer Brief ($54). This boxer brief’s waistband is concealed, which can help prevent reactions if the allergy is mild. If you have a more serious latex allergy, you may need something more customized for you.
If you’re more of a brief man, Hanro also offer the Cotton Sporty 3/4 Brief ($37). It’s soft, flattering and perfect to wear under jeans.
Some guys have allergies that prevent them from wearing any latex at all – even if it’s not directly in contact with the skin. Cottonique uses a drawstring in place of the elastic, so you don’t have to worry. The brand manufactures its underwear in a facility that is completely free of latex contamination. No matter how severe your allergy, the Cottonique Men’s Drawstring Loose Boxer Shorts ($46.75 for a two pack) should be alright to wear. As always, it’s important to check with your doctor first.
Finally, if you need swimwear, Rufskin offers the Ibiza swim trunk ($62). With its covered waistband, men with mild latex allergies should be able to wear this trunk comfortably.
Photo Credit: Eric Wainwright for The Underwear Expert, Cottonique, Hanro, Rufskin