How To Treat A Fiberglass Insulation Skin Allergy

Fiberglass insulation can cause an allergic skin reaction, known as contact dermatitis, when it comes in contact with the skin. You should never handle fiberglass material with bare hands.

It is still possible to have particles get on the skin, no matter how careful you are. The splinters can cause intense itching and redness. Here are tips to treat an allergic reaction to fiberglass insulation.

Wash Clothing

Remove  clothing that came into contact with fiberglass to avoid spreading particles, and toss them in the washing machine on the hottest setting.  Do not wash them with other clothes to avoid spreading particles.  

If the clothes have a large number of particles, pre-soak them before washing them in the machine. Rinse the machine with clean water before you use it again, since fibers may get stuck in the machine.

Remove  Particles from Skin

To remove the particles, gather:

  • safety goggles
  • masking tape
  • lotion or oil
  • compressed air
  • talcum powder
  • tweezers
  • acetone or rubbing alcohol

Refrain from scratching the area, or else you push the particles deeper into the skin. As soon as you notice symptoms, out on safety goggles, and attempt to remove the particles with compressed air.

If the rash continues, start removing visible particles from the skin by cleaning the hands with soap and water. Dab a pair of tweezers in rubbing alcohol to sterilize them. Pry off visible fibers from the skin, and use a magnifying glass to spot particles, if needed. Don't attempt to remove particles deep in the skin yourself.

You may also attach masking tape to the skin to pull off particles. Gradually pull off the tape, then repeat, but pull off this piece in the opposite direction. 

Wash non-visible particles off your skin with water from the sink, or take a cool shower, if you can stand it.  A cool shower keeps the pores closed to prevent particles from lodging further into the skin.

Follow the cold shower up with a hot bath, and soak in the tub at least twenty minutes, and add some Epsom salt, if desired. A hot bath will open up the pores and produce sweat, which helps remove more particles. 

Apply Lotion or Oil

Rub a generous amount of oil or lotion on the infected areas to loosen any remaining particles, then apply acetone. Acetone is nail polish remover which helps to break down particles. 

Remove the acetone with soap and water. To further treat the itch, purchase an over-the-counter anti-itch cream.

Ensure you vacuum the work area to clear fiberglass particles. Before you work with fiberglass, apply talcum powder to block particles from getting into skin pores. If the itch won't stop, or you don't know what caused the rash, visit your doctor for an allergy test. You can also contact establishments like Dino Peds.