Dress Shirt Irritation

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by Harry_Thabombshelter, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. So, I have a new job that requires me to wear a dress shirt and tie everyday. My problem is the irritation I get on my lower neck from the shirt rubbing!

    I shaved this morning with Tabac and derby blades with BBS on my face and no irritation, but by 10AM, I had some pretty annoying redness on my neck and several itchy/painful spots!

    I have an E-W growth on my neck and I don't bother with a BBS on my neck due to it's sensitivity. I actually started wetshaving because of said sensitivity.

    Does anyone have any tips on lessening or preventing my neck irritation? My current shave routine is: Dove soap in the shower, hot towel pre-shave, tabac soap with super badger brush bowl lather, three pass BBS on the face with a 40s SS and Derby Blades, and Neutrogena Post Shave lotion and ice cube pass after the shave. I only do a 2 pass on my neck and I know my dress shirts are the correct size (if not a bit big on some shirts), so I know the shirts aren't unduly rubbing.

    I would love any help!!
  2. Truckman

    Truckman New Member

    I'd suggest maybe a light powder/talc applied right before putting on the shirt. Pinaud Clubman talc, Gold Bond, baby powder....something along those lines.
  3. jasonlju11

    jasonlju11 Member

    It could also be contact dermatitis. Since the neck is very sensitive both the mechanical and chemical(detergent, fabric softeners etc.)can cause your irritation. You could try changing to hypo allergenic detergents and fabric softeners. You could also try using hydro cortisone or calamine (try for a non caking formula that wont dry to a pink powder.). See your dermitologist if problems persists.
  4. selhov

    selhov New Member

    hi you have some good advice from the guys like talc,or reaction to washing powder and conditioner,s you say the collar is loose so no sweating problems then,i would go to you,r nearest drug store and aske the advice of the chemist, you may nead a anti inflamatory cream to sooth the area that you can apply during the day, or if the skin is really inflamed and soar itching they may advice a dermatolgical cream dermovate or betnovate my advice is if in dought go to see the chemists they ar good with advice, good luck.
  5. jbcohen

    jbcohen New Member

    Pardon for pointing out the obvious but have you been to see a dermotologist and/or an allergist?
  6. AdrianR

    AdrianR New Member

    I'll jump in with my two cents here and advise about your collar size. I often used to wear collars a half-size larger in summer, specifically to avoid the chafing/rubbing/irritation problem. Also, as others have pointed out, be sure you are not experiencing a contact allergy from the detergent used, try a pure soap in a handwash.
  7. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    I'd be surprised if it isn't a reaction to your laundry detergent or fabric softener. Specifically, dye or fragrance in your detergent. I'd go to something hypoallergenic to prevent future damage and see a chemist, pharmacist, or dermatologist about clearing up the irritation you already have.
  8. Etoyoc

    Etoyoc Backwards

    all good advice... I want to chime in from my personal experience...

    When I first started wet shaving last summer I had the same problem when I went back to the classroom in August. That first day my neck was terrible. I tried using talc, but I did not like the feel/smell of having talc on. I went 1/2 size up in my neck to avoid the problem. These are all shirts that had worn before and I had not changed detergent (still use the same dye free detergent). It was just the conditions of summer mixed with tighter collars mixed with starting off DE shaving...
  9. Griz

    Griz Member


    Today I only have to wear a shirt and tie for meeting, and I experience the same problem when I have to button up my collar, even loose ones. In years past I had to wear a tie everyday, and I remember that my neck just had to get used to the rub from the starched edge of my collar.

    You can go with no starch, but your collar looks sloppy and will eventually pill up from rubbing your stubble, or you can probably suffer through untill your skin toughens up unless you are truly alergic to your detergent.

    Give the powder a try, I like the cornstarch baby powder personally.

    Will N.
  10. Truckman

    Truckman New Member

    You know, we've been using the Tide Free and Bounce Free (fragrance free) for so long, it never even occurred to me that might be the issue. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess....I'd definitely try this out...
  11. omegapd

    omegapd New Member

    don't use the talc with a dark shirt. It'll look awful after awhile with white powder everywhere.
  12. Moe

    Moe Active Member

    +1 on going up a little on the neck size.

    I've also found the material to make a slight difference. I have some bery basic Oxfords, where the weave is not that tight, and the surface of the shirt is visually rough, compared to some pin point oxfords that I have, the material is tighter, and feels smoother. The pin points feel more confortable on my neck. Also, my collars get a lot of wear from my beard, this seems to be less of an issue with the pin points.
  13. Sherlock

    Sherlock Member

    I would suggest trying the shirt for a few hours with out the shave to determine if it really is a problem associated with the shave process. If you still have irritation it is the shirt. Try the next size up, loosen the collar when your job permits it.
    Most of the time when I see guys pulling and loosening the collar or complaining about the tie it usually is because their shirt is to small. There is nothing wrong with having a little breathing room.
    I always have my dress shirts professionally laundered, one can not produce the crisp pressed look easily at home.
    Good luck with the new job!
  14. Special_K

    Special_K New Member

    Though I haven't had to wear a tie everyday in a long time, I understand what you are talking about because my neck got/gets the same irritation. I'm going to give you advice if you are having the shirt laundered and starched at a cleaners because you have already gotten good advice if you do it at home. I would suggest going with light or no starch and maybe trying another cleaners. I believe that cleaners use different formulas. My skin always reacts to ones that have that real strong chemical smell. I had to find a new couple of months ago because the one I was using must have made a switch and my skin felt itchy. That was it on to the next one. Not like there aren't plenty to choose from. :D

    Also, definitely check your neck size as advised above. You need a little breathing room. If you are not sure about the size, try one on at a department store and have either a knowledge sales associate look at it. The men and women in the suit section always seem to be the most knowledgeable about size in my opinion.
  15. Well, I'm pretty sure it doesn't have anything to do with detergent, since I'm not a very allergic person, nor do I have any reaction elsewhere. The more I think about it, I think it probably a collar issue. I didn't shave this morning, but I wore a different shirt with a slightly larger collar and had no issues, despite having more stubble to catch the collar. I know that I have a bizarre arm/neck ratio, so I can either get a shirt that fits my neck or a shirt that fits my arm. I haven't gone down the tailoring route yet, but I know that's an option.

    Thanks so much for the advice!
  16. Magnus6208

    Magnus6208 New Member


    This works very well for me. I don't wear a tie everyday but when I do, this is a must.:D
  17. Austin

    Austin Member

    Good advice. I would also add, if you have your shirts laundered you ask for light or no starch.
  18. Special_K

    Special_K New Member

    I too have a non typical arm/neck ratio i.e. fat neck. I buy the size to fit my neck and then have the tailor take up the arms just a bit. I think it usually costs under $10.
  19. Island Brian

    Island Brian Member

    When I was merely overweight and before I got heavy :)D), I would boil a teapot on the stove and hold the collar over the steam as I tugged it length-wise. It worked. I know this sounds like a lot of trouble, but it takes only a minute or two.

    I would definitely continue to experiement with different shirt fabrics and laundering options. Tailoring turns a $40-$50 shirt into a $80-$100 shirt in a big hurry. I have some custom shirts and I assure you that too is pricey, plus you usually need to do a minimum order.

    Or you could just gain a bunch of weight like me so you will fit into the next collar size.


    Happy shaves, mate.
  20. Lawrenceu

    Lawrenceu New Member

    If you are laundering your shirts at home and need a very crisp shirt it could be the spray starch that most folks use. I can't use it. Instead I go old school and use powdered starch and a soak. The shirts come out very nice and no irritation.

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