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Victoria’s Secret Class Action Lawsuits Filed Over Bra Rash and Scarring

At least three lawsuits have been filed against Victoria’s Secret seeking class action status for women who have suffered severe rashes, scarring and other skin reactions after wearing defective bras that were contaminated with formaldehyde.

According to numerous media reports, Victoria’s Secret has confirmed that reports have been received from a women who experienced severe reactions after wearing their Angels Secret Embrace, Very Sexy Extreme Me Push-Up and other bras. However, the company has denied that there is anything defective about the undergarments.

The Victoria’s Secret bra lawsuits allege that the severe reactions were caused by the presence of the industrial chemical formaldehyde, which is classified as a probably human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and can cause allergic reactions in some people.

The reported problems with the Victoria’s Secret bras have included the development of rashes, blisters, hives, welts and itching. In some severe cases, consumers have suffered permanent and disfiguring scarring to their breasts.

The first known Victoria’s Secret lawsuit over the contaminated bras was filed in May 2008 in Ohio, and at least two additional lawsuits have been filed recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The cases seek class action status to represent all individuals who wore the bras and suffered damages.

The Victoria’s Secret class action suits allege that consumers were not adequately warned about the presence of formaldehyde and the risk of allergic reactions. The cases also claim that Victoria’s Secret knew or should have known that the garments were defective, yet they have continued to sell the bras.

Victoria’s Secret has maintained that formaldehyde is not used during the manufacturing of their bras and undergarments.

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236 comments

  1. Kristen Reply

    I have this problem too! Has anyone found something that helps the rash go away or at least feel better? I’ve tried all kinds of things and nothing seems to help. Finally realized my VS bras seemed to be causing it, and stopped wearing them but the rash hasn’t gone away after a few weeks.

  2. Sheri Reply

    Omg! My VS very sexy bra started corroding on the rings where the bra straps connect to the bra. this corrosion caused a itchy painful sore in my back that went away after I didn’t use the bra anymore, but I have had itchy, sore, sensitive skin right in that spot ever since. There are no visible markings on my skin, but it is super irritated all the time.

  3. Coleen Reply

    I am experiencing similar symptoms, itching and rash also and never had an issue until I purchased several vs bras. The Fabulous, to be exact. I stopped wearing them but still have symptoms.

  4. Khristi Reply

    I am sitting here in amazement! You have no idea how much money I have spent on dr’s, tests and medicines to try to figure out what is causing my rash! and to think it could be my $50 bras, im in shock!

  5. Beth Reply

    WOW, I am going through the same, red bumps that itch and sting like crazy under my breast and on the sides , the left breast bothers me most very red and itchy bumps, I thought it was a heat rash , for I ride horses in the hot humid weather and sweat , but never had this problem before until i bought a VC push up bra. Great.

  6. Dennysse Reply

    I\’ve been a VS customer since 1999. Never found a bra to fit me good, until I started using VS (t-shirt bra and cotton ones) About a year ago I started having those rashes. Went to my doctor and she prescribed an ointment that somehow helped with the itching and redness. My skin went from red to normal, but I kept using the bras because it was hard for me to find another brand with the right fit. That was the worst thing I could\’ve done. Now instead of red skin I have this two brown patches under each breast where the underwire used to touch. They\’re not going away, not even getting lighter with ointments or medicine. What was before an area of my body I was proud of, it is now an uncomfortable and gross looking place. I can\’t wear a swimsuit because those two dark patches show under my tops. And let me make clear that I wash my bras by hand and never dry them in dryers, because I know it damages the fabrics and fibers, also your skin. I wish I could show a picture of my current condition to help others understand how important is to take action before the condition gets worse. My skin went from a simple dermatitis to something else. If you don\’t have any problems with VS bras, it\’s up to you to keep buying from them.. But if you\’ve had this rash or other symptoms mentioned here, please take action, don\’t wait until is too late and you cant get rid of the scars.The bras that gave me the first rash (cotton line) were made in Thailand.The rest were made in China ( t- shirt line). As I\’ve heard VS is not the only company with this kind of situation.Something has to be done.

  7. Terese Reply

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  8. Emma Reply

    I live in Australia and i bought my VS bras while holidaying in the US, ever since then i have been getting these rashes, they are so irritating and ugly, I always knew it was only when i wore one particular bra (my VS one) but it’s doing it with both now. I love VS but seriously what a joke, people are already self conscious enough, women dont need this making them feel worse, i know i dont. :-(

  9. Alicia Reply

    I have develop a rash by using the angels secret embrace convertible strapless bra . It happen before but now I definitely know its the bra it’s a rash line on both side redness the skin is pealed off. It burns and it hurts ant it’s itchy. It’s a horrible sensation for sure ill get a horrible scar. It looks like a burn :(

  10. Dana Reply

    This is unbelievable and scary – I developed a burn mark on the outer breast area where the “wire” outline was this past Monday within an hour of putting on my bra that I purchased in march and have worn it many many times before and finally had to remove my bra at work – I noticed my bra fabric felt damp but I just assumed that is what caused my burning raw sensation. Then I returned to wearing the same bra again for a couple of days Friday and again Saturday – then around 10:30 pm on Saturday night I started feeling a raw burning sensation on my nipple and surrounding breast tissue. Within 10 minutes of this burning sensation I had to remove my bra but it was too late my tissue was already raw and burnt , I again noticed that the fabric was damp. It was extremely painful the next day still so I went to the hospital and ended up getting an oral antibiotic and a topical antibiotic ointment as I was already showing signs of infected areas on the breast tissue. I have done nothing different nor have I used new products detergents soaps creams or deodorants. I’ve never heard of such a thing happening? What is in the bra that’s labelled Demi lined ? It feels like a gel padding ? Is this what is causing these burns on people ?

  11. syd Reply

    I bought vs bras for the first time a couple of years ago when they finally expanded options for the DD sizes. I bought 3 different styles and within a week, after trying washing them and cornstarching them in case it was heat rash, I had to take them back due to a BRA SHAPED rash on my breasts. I was able to get a full refund and started looking into the bras. turns out it is the POLYURETHANE lining they use. it contains formaldehyde. (this is a fact, when you look up the chemical makeup). It took almost a month of itching and peeling for the rash to go away completely. Other brands use it as well, I know Bali does and Vanity Fair caused a similar reaction when i tried them (they list nylon and spandex, but spandex has formaldehyde in it as well.) i took the other brands back as soon as the itching started. I think manufacturers should be required to list all materials. I have come across numerous bras that do not list what the lining and padding is made of, it is ridiculous.

  12. Andrea Reply

    I bought a vs very sexy push up bra back in 2009, i didnt get to wear it very many times because i got pregnant and since then have not fit into it. Well i got it out a week or two ago and i wore it on and off. About two days ago i noticed blood streaks on the wire line around my rib cage and a tiny rash. Well i didn\’t think it could be my bra. I wore it all day yesterday and i woke up this morning and my rib cage is red with a rash as well as the bottom half of each breast. It is very itchy. I looked it up on the web and found this site, thank god! I have only had the rash for like 3 days total so i am hoping it will go away fast and will not last to long. I am going to try cortisone. Also…which may or may not be related…i just finished nursing my one year old like a month ago and this last week i saw that my bra was soaking wet on one side…and it felt very oily and looked shiny…i thought that i randomly was leaking (even though my milk was gone) but now i am not sure what happened there…

  13. karla Reply

    omg! ABOUT 4years ago i too bot 2 bras from VS stared witha small rash and itchy, I washed them a couple of times just to make shore they were clean but, still the rash did not go away so i returned them. I was ready to argue with the sale lady and show her my rash but, she was very nice and returnee my money. I then went to Macy\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s.
    Now i just had a baby and gained wight and my boos got big i am now a 36DDD I saw a sale at Cacique bras, and was really happy to fined a nice bra that fit, after wearing and washing it i am getting a milled rash. I thought it was this diet pills but, i stop taking them but, the rash did not go away. This weekend i did not use the bras and the itching has come down but,i still have marks. this is way i stared looking for answers as to y and came to find this site. Know i am going to have to forget about using my $25 off coupon on a Cacique bras,.

    P.S
    women with large breast is not easy to fine good support and stylish bras so, it really suck :( when you think you have found the jack pot and the manufacturing of this bras don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’t care what material they use just a long they can make a buck!!!!!!!

  14. Lynn Reply

    It\\\’s still happening, and it isn\\\’t just VS bras. I bought a couple of Hanes bras that had polyurethane cups. At first wearing (bra was laundered first), I developed an itchy rash, but I assumed it was a heat rash because I had worn it all day walking around in 85-90º heat. It itched, and burned and took a couple of weeks to clear. I didn\\\’t connect it to the bra at first.

    But then about a month later, I put the bra on again and wore most of the day. I noticed the itch again, and took it off. Later that night, I woke itching and my whole chest felt like it was on fire. The itching was as intense as it gets with poison ivy, but it burned as well.

    I got up and looked in the mirror. I looked like someone had traced the outline of the cups onto my skin and filled the shape in with sunburn. The chemical burn was exactly the shape of the bra cups on both breasts, even down to a straight line at the sides and a pointed top where the cups were sewn to the straps. This left no doubt as to the cause of this agony.

    I don\\\’t have sensitive skin, really. And I\\\’ve been wearing bras with no problems for around 45 years, so I am not going to be someone who accepts being told it is somehow something I did, or that I have a random infection or preexisting allergy.

    It is only those bras that caused the reaction. This second episode of intense itching and rash started about 5 days ago, and I have not worn those bras since. But while it is starting to fade to splotches instead of solid areas of inflamed skin, it is still mighty uncomfortable, and it still burns and itches enough to affect my daily activities.

    I\\\’m very concerned that bra manufacturers have been aware of this potentially disfiguring reaction, and seem quite happy to continue to manufacture and sell the offending materials. I\\\’m not surprised, though. It seems profit comes before anything else.

    I\\\’m worried at how this will all heal, but I\\\’m very sad for those of you who have had extreme and disfiguring consequences. It\\\’s another lesson in how little we can trust companies to put our health in front of the bottom line.

    Lesson learned.

  15. Cathy Reply

    I was thunderstruck to have found this webpage. I had not heard of these lawsuits and bought three VS bras this past spring. Since then I have been dealing with bad rashes around the bra area which have spread to my arms. Some otc remedies have helped part of the rash but nothing seems to be helping the rash on my arms (at bra level). I am going to need to see a doctor, and I don\’t have insurance. Who would I contact about the class action suit?? I am otherwise in good health and have never before had a rash like this.

  16. Barbara Reply

    I purchased two VS Incredible bras. Approximately 1 year later while wearing one of the bras, I broke out in such a profound rash ALL OVER MY BREASTS, there was essentially a RED BRA-SHAPED continuous hive, that I had to go to the doctor. I felt as though the allergic reaction was actually affecting my breathing. It was awful. I was on Prednisone and Atarax for the itching which helped immensely. However, the reaction lasted approximately 4 days. When I went back to VS and asked about the bras, I was told no, they were just redesigned and that they had never heard of an issue like mine, and that perhaps I was just allergic to elastic. Because I had not heard anything in the news about such a strange occurrence I thought it must be just my bad luck. NOT TRUE! This company should FALL ALL OVER ITSELF making sure this never happens again. VS pretends to be all about women, but whatever is in their bras is MAKING WOMEN SICK.

  17. barbara Reply

    I purchased two VS Incredible bras. Approximately 1 year later while wearing one of the bras, I broke out in such a profound rash ALL OVER MY BREASTS, there was essentially a RED BRA-SHAPED continuous hive, that I had to go to the doctor. I felt as though the allergic reaction was actually affecting my breathing. It was awful. I was on Prednisone and Atarax for the itching which helped immensely. However, the reaction lasted approximately 4 days. When I went back to VS and asked about the bras, I was told no, they were just redesigned and that they had never heard of an issue like mine, and that perhaps I was just allergic to elastic. Because I had not heard anything in the news about such a strange occurrence I thought it must be just my bad luck. NOT TRUE! This company should FALL ALL OVER ITSELF making sure this never happens again. VS pretends to be all about women, but whatever is in their bras is MAKING WOMEN SICK.

  18. Janet Reply

    I was wearing a vs secret bra this summer. I started itching around my breasts and around the bra line. I thought it was just the heat so I just kept adjusting my bra straps. A few weeks later I had developed what looks like a few bug bites and a rash on my right lower breasted and bra line. I had never had rashes in this area before in my life. I am trying to treat it with cortisone cream. I now am sure it is the vs bra. These bras are dangerous. I want to be part of the class action lawsuit.

  19. Kimberly Reply

    For 5 years I thought I suffered from psoriasis on my breats, and never in my life would I have thought that the cause was my bras. I do not have psoriasis anywhere else on my body except for my breasts. Coming across all of these forums has brought me to tears because I thought there was nothing I could do and I was bound to live with this rash forever. This past week, after wearing one of my VS bras, it has gotten SO BAD, pustular bumps, red hot itching, burning, you name it. I’m almost positive I’ll suffer from scarring since the area has lost all pigmentation. For years doctors told me I had some type of rash, dermatitis, etc., and nothing fixed the problem. Finally yesterday a doctor told me I’m having an allergic reaction to my bra and now here I am, blown out of my mind seeing that I haven’t been the only one!

    If there is not a current class action suit against Victoria’s Secret, I will happily start a new one.

  20. Kimberly Reply

    For 5 years I thought I suffered from psoriasis on my breats, and never in my life would I have thought that the cause was my bras. I do not have psoriasis anywhere else on my body except for my breasts. Coming across all of these forums has brought me to tears because I thought there was nothing I could do and I was bound to live with this rash forever. This past week, after wearing one of my VS bras, it has gotten SO BAD, pustular bumps, red hot itching, burning, you name it. I’m almost positive I’ll suffer from scarring since the area has lost all pigmentation. For years doctors told me I had some type of rash, dermatitis, etc., and nothing fixed the problem. Finally yesterday a doctor told me I’m having an allergic reaction to my bra and now here I am, blown out of my mind seeing that I haven’t been the only one!

    If there is not a current class action suit against Victoria’s Secret, I will happily start a new one.

  21. Michelle Reply

    My first purchase of a vs bra my breast was on fire burning, itching, welting an itch that you have to scratch. I had swelling and very red irritated breast after being scared to death that I had inflammatory breast cancer my test came back clear yet doctors couldn’t say what caused my sudden rash I was told perhaps dry skin I was given hydrocortisone cream and sent on my way. Needless to say I didn’t want to hear that I had all of a sudden developed dry skin that attacked my breast only as nothing else on my body showed signs of dry skin. So this sent me on a mission after thinking back I hadn’t had a change in diet, detergent, environment so that led me to clothing the only thing new was the bras. So I stopped wearing them took great care of my breast washing moisturizing making sure they were clean and dry, my breast started clearing up getting back to normal and then just to see if it was the bra I put it on and bam! I’m scratching burning like crazy swollen and welted and red again. So that sent me to the www and lo, and behold I see I’m not the only one that connected the dots. Complaints of similar issues since 2008. Formaldehyde really vs really wow. I’m relieved to find out the problem so that I can fix it by never purchasing a vs bra ever again

  22. Laura Reply

    I just recently bought a VS bra and after washing it the smell is absolutely horrid. I thought maybe it was my well water. I tried washing it over and over with different ways, detergent. Everything. It still smells to high heaven. When I tried to wear it, it burns. These bras cost women lots of money and for what?….to risk their health. I would be willing to be part of a lawsuit also. This is ridiculous VS

  23. Hilary, Essex UK Reply

    So glad I found this website, I could not believe I could be allergic to a
    Bra. I purchased 3 lovely VS bras while on holiday in Florida in December 2013 but every time I try to wear them I break out in red
    Itchy rash. This does not happen with my other bras from other
    manufacturers. I intend to complain to VS on my return to Florida
    this year and am interested to hear an explanation considering what
    I have read here on this site.

  24. Leigh Reply

    I used a cream called utter cream. Normally used by farmers but it worked. You can also use heavy diaper rash cream. Wash with a mild soap, even medical soaps will work. And keep the area dry. Get a bra that has good lift and separation (cotton is good until you heal) Keep the area dry. Weight loss is also a plus.

  25. Colette Reply

    I have battled this rash, bumps, hives, swelling, believed to to PUPPS (pregnancy rash) half way through my pregnancy is 2012. I was enduced 2 weeks early to see of my rash would cleared. I laid in in labor medicated on Benadryl even after my delivery. I still am batteling and just had a biopsy last week to my dermatologist. My obgyn, 2 family doc and now dermatology. Before my biopsy he said I think it may he your bra it’s only on your breast in the cup part. I get my result the end of the week but I set aside my my VS bras and now my breast finally seem to be clearing up after TWO years of misery. In the summer I would go insane scratching and bleeding and it kept spreading across my chest. So many people go through this torture and hell they need to pull these bras and not sell them if they keep putting junk like this in their bras!!!!

  26. Cinthia Reply

    Here I am joining the club for the same reason, I too have a complaint about the VS bras, I bought a strapless bra and decided to wear it for Mother’s Day since I was going to wear a long strapless dress that evening to go out with my kids and husband, well the weather was good and everything went fined until we got home and I was removing my VS strapless bra…..OMG the worst pain I have felt on my back, my 14 year old daughter which is also a VS lover just like me, looked at my back and was shocked , my skin had peeled off completely and was bleeding, I have been in pain and not wearing a bra for days, needless to say I have not been out of house since that day waiting for my skin to heel. I can’t believe that after so many complaints VS has done nothing to at least help us!!

  27. Lea Reply

    I wa doing a google search on sjin discoloration and stumbled on this. I wear VS push up and I have sever discoloration on my back exactly where my bra hooks. I don’t and have never had a rash on breasts but the discoloration and severe intchiness of the middle of my back is worrisome. I thought I had a allergic reaction to metal but I never get irritated by earrings or deoderant. My fav bra is the vs bra I bougt in 09. crazy to think it may be the culprit of my discolored back.

  28. Danielle Reply

    About 6 months ago I decided to use a gift card I received to vs. Anyways I bought 2 Demi bras . I know one of them was called fabulous and let’s just say I love the way it fit and made my breasts look at first, that was until I really wore it and broke out in a fabulous rash. I had a few bra’s from other places and I never broke out like this on my breasts before. I know it was the bra for sure now after finding this. I don’t know how they can get away with making so many people suffer with this rash. I was practically scratching my skin right off , unbearable itchiness and I was trying everything. These bra’s aren’t cheap and this is ridiculous .

  29. Leann Reply

    Wore my vs very sexy push up bra, and had itching under the wire so scratched it and when pulled my hand away it was oily. Thought to myself thats weird that I am sweating so much and was trying to remember putting on lotion that it would feel oily. I decided to take the bra off as I had been wearing it all day and was home getting ready for bed. When I took it off I noticed red bumps on that side under my breast where the underwire was, none on the other side (so far). and the underside of my breast was all oily. Out of curiosity got on line and googled leaking vs bras and found all these posts. I told my husband what I found out and asked him if Formaldehyde was oily…he said yes, and is now very concerned about the risk of having that carcinogen seeping into my breast all day. I am horrified that a huge company like VS is charging so much for these bras and putting so many women at risk for cancer, the least they are doing is maiming the very thing they are in business to make beautiful. What I do not understand is why they are still able to sell these bras???

  30. Brooke Reply

    I can’t believe how similar our stories and experiences are!!! I bought a VS push up about two weeks ago. I thought it was because I did not originally wash the bra that this happened BUT after finding hundreds of these stories I know this is not the case. My skin under the cups and wiring has also become oily and had a damp feeling like sweat. The itching was and still remains unbearable…always having to find privacy to satisfy this itching at work!!! I have sores especially at the bottom of my breasts and putting lotion on has not helped at all!!! Gold Bond calms the itching slightly but the only thing for almost complete relief is not wearing the bras at all!

    ..and since I finally found others who have this issue I do recall this happening a while back again when I purchased a VS bra. I just never put the two together.

    Has anyone called VS??? So UNBELIEVABLE that they are still on the shelf!!!

  31. Ellie Reply

    I had the same problem. First vs purchase. I washed my bra before I wore it. I broke out in a rash within a couple of hours. I knew it was the bra right away. I do get heat rash but this was not the same. (Now I know why) I threw the bra away. 40.00 bucks in the trash.

  32. Valerie Reply

    I was looking over the internet to check if there was some information on a rash that I always get after using 2 bras I have from VS. Glad I stop by this post as I thought I was being crazy.

  33. Danella Reply

    OMG i have the same problem i never had this problem before with my other and cheaper bras i brougth an VS bra the pink line everytime i wear that bra i get a blister so bad on the side of my back!!!!! only from this one bra i wear its i only wear it when i go out but when i take it off i get a horrible mark that sworn!!!! im call VS tommorrow

  34. Dawn Reply

    I recently bought two bras that caused a rash all over my breasts I was also affected just before the time of the original crap class-action lawsuit. I didn’t make the connection until after I had thrown the bras away and the rash and cleared up. I didn’t shop Tori is secret for a long time but I finally bought two bras recently figuring that the problem wasn’t a problem anymore, especially considering that they were being sued over it. I contact Victoria secret about my issue. They gave me a link to the survey specifically about my rash. I decided not to return the bras to them and instead would like to pursue legal options. I am horrified this is still being allowed to happen and that they will not admit any responsibility.

  35. Bridgett Reply

    It’s not just bras. I’ve never purchased any VS bras but I have purchased the swimwear. I recently purchased a VS bathing suit top. I’ve worn it 3 times and each time I break out in a rash of raw, oozing blisters around the back of my neck where it ties. The last time this happened, I started researching and came across this page. I am obviously fortunate to not have had the worst of the symptoms like some of the above but the first 2 times, the rash cleared in 4-5 days. This time around it seems to clear some and then blister again just a little. Was my fave bathing suit top but it’s officially retired before anymore damage is done. Hope the rest of you get or have gotten some relief!

  36. Leanne Reply

    I also have VS bra’s , and this one totally burned my back, and what is really weird is it is on only one side, from the middle of my back to underneath my breast, from the inside of the bra, and now I have blusters and they are breaking open and hurt like hell…I took pictures and hope I don’t scar…..not sure what to do…should I turn this in also????

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