The New Diaper Primer

Appendix 3: Plastic Pants and "Elastic-Band Sensitivity"

Are you sensitive to elastic waist bands - and perhaps leg bands?

Do you get red marks, lines or even painful welts where your plastic pants waist band elastic contacts your skin?

Have you ordered plastic pants a couple of sizes too large and still find the elastics uncomfortable?

You may have a form of hives. The medical term is Urticaria and the specific problem with elastics is aptly called "Pressure Urticaria". We've had this condition for a long time without knowing what it was until it was diagnosed by a dermatologist. You should search "hives" or "urticaria" for more information.

So what can you wear for "off the shelf" waterproof pants?

For rubber pants, I find I can wear the lycra waist bands found in rubber pants from Drylife ( and Babykins (

For plastic pants, I've only been successful with Kins and VIP. Kins has the gentle lycra bands. In the case of VIP, I must order one size larger, but their thin elastic waist is a gentle elastic that seldom bothers me. The leg elastics are quite loose on the oversized pants, but tucking up under the diaper works fine.

If you can rip out stitching (there is a handy tool for this and it just takes a bit of patience) you can get Suprima plastic pants for their high quality, in your size, and rip out the stitching for the waist elastic and toss the elastic. You now have plastic pants with no waist band and you tuck the plastic material into the top of your diapers.

Now for custom pants to provide proper fit without triggering the hives welts around the waist!

Gary is perhaps the largest manufacturer of plastic pants, and our preferred source for these excellent plastic pants in a large variety of materials is Contact, and Lonnie will gladly assist you in ordering plastic pants to fit you ... comfortably. Using myself as an example, I can wear Gary Large plastic pants. The cut and fit over cloth diapers is perfect for me. The leg elastics in the large size are fine for me. I find an elastic for the 3XL size is gentle enough for my hives situation. will have to charge a surcharge for the custom work, but the delivery is not bad and the results are excellent. My preference for materials are the Soft Wear ($18) and Urethane ($25).

Custom seamstress: You may contact Diane Seguin at Bear Bottom. She does not have a web site but contact her via e-mail: Located in Ontario, Canada, she offers her own line of custom waterproof pants made from water-resistant nylon that are high quality, comfortable. They will fit you perfectly since she will cut and sew them specifically to your measurements. She also offers rubber pants. I'd suggest you experiment with her nylon pants at lower cost until you get the elastic tension just right to suit yourself before investing in the higher-cost rubber pants.

As you know from this primer, I regard Suprima plastic pants as top-of-the-line for quality and fit. Be sure you check our Suprima Appendix for sorting out the available models. I prefer the S1212, (generous cut with wide elastics), and I've sent many pair of these to Diane Seguin who relaxed the waist elastic to a tension that suited me with my hives condition. She does this by replacing the Suprima elastic with her own, in a length to give the degree of tension the wearer will find most comfortable.

If you know you like the Suprima pants and know what you like for the model and colors, purchase a lot (such as 5 or 10 pants) and have them shipped directly to Diane Seguin. Work with her to arrive at your preferred elastic tension. She'll re-do one pair and ship them to you for evaluation. Once you have the tension right, she will alter all the rest in the same way. You will have a good supply of Suprima pants with a custom-waist elastic.

And don't forget your talc! That always helps since the dry-lube effect of the powder along with reduced tension keeps the hives eruptions away!

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