A closet staple, many of us would be lost without daily support from our favorite belt– or two. However, more than a few of us experience unexpected discomfort from an item that’s supposed to be, well, comfortable. And when discomfort occurs, we tend to blame it on poor fit, pinching, or rubbing from the belt’s strap. After all, that’s what the majority of the belt is made of, right?
But, this discomfort isn’t always due to the belt being too tight or uncomfortable. More often than not, it’s due to your skin’s reaction to the belt buckle itself. As many belt buckles are made of nickel, a metal known to cause an allergic reaction in 10-20% of the population, being allergic to your belt buckle is more common than we might think.
At Arcade, we believe belts should be built for comfort, whether they be an outdoor belt or an athletic belt. Continuing to wear a belt that causes discomfort is an absolute no-go. As a result, we put together a guide to 5 common signs you’re allergic to your belt buckle, so that you can ditch the discomfort and find a belt that’s right for you. Let’s dive in.
1. Skin Redness and Itching
One of the first signs of a potential allergic reaction is skin redness and itching in the area where the buckle comes into contact with your skin, ranging from mild to severe. If your skin starts to itch and become red after wearing a belt, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction.
2. Rash or Bumps
One of the more noticeable signs of an allergy, a rash or small bumps can appear around the area where your belt buckle touches your skin. This is due to your immune system reacting to the allergen, which in this case, is potentially the nickel in the buckle.
Though less common, some people may experience swelling in the area that's been in contact with the buckle. If you notice this symptom, remove the belt immediately and monitor the area.
4. Dry Patches or Skin Discoloration
Over time, repeated exposure to an allergen can cause the skin to become dry and discolored. If you notice any changes in your skin's texture or color around your waistline, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction.
If you're experiencing these signs of irritation after wearing a belt, it doesn't necessarily mean you're allergic to every belt out there– you might just need to switch to a nickel-free option (or better yet, non-metal option). These adjustable belts are designed with your comfort in mind, allowing you to get the support you know and depend on from traditional belts without the discomfort of an allergic reaction.
At Arcade, our stretchy, flexible belts are constructed with non-metal components, limiting the risk of potential allergy while creating an accessory that’s incredibly functional, lightweight, and durable– no matter what activity you plan to get up to. An alternative to the often heavy and uncomfortable style of belt most of us are used to, our comfortable belt options combine style and longevity while still packing a punch when it comes to performance.