Q: What to do about itching? After a long day of tightlacing, my corset sometimes itches like the dickens. I wash, lotion and powder daily, and, of course, wear a seamless undershirt, but still, late at night.....itch, itch. --- Amy (8/28/98)

A: The most probable reason is some degree of skin allergy. You have to be very careful with what kind of soap you are using (non-allergic), and avoid perfumed lotions or powder (if any!). For laundering your underclothes, also non-allergic washing-powder is a must. The steels in your corset, as well as your busk, may cause local irritation, particularly if you are very tightly laced. The itching then would be localized to the skin under the steels, and would of course be enhanced if you are allergic to nickel, which might be used for alloying - sweating may precipitate nickel salts, which penetrate both the sheaths of the steels and your linen or undershirt. Additional to the above, it is important that you wash your body carefully with pure lukewarm water after removing your corset. In the morning you have to repeat the procedure before being laced up. A slightly thicker linen may also help.


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