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Fiberglass Allergy Symptoms

by
author image Kristie Jernigan
Kristie Jernigan is a health writer with over 17 years of experience as a medical social worker. She has worked mainly with the elderly population and with children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in health care administration and gerontology from the University of Phoenix.
Fiberglass Allergy Symptoms
An allergic reaction to fiberglass can affect the respiratory tract. Photo Credit NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Fiberglass allergies can occur when someone handles fiberglass insulation. A fiberglass allergy causes a condition known as contact dermatitis on the skin, and it can also cause breathing problems when the small particles of fiberglass are inhaled. The symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Itching and Rash

According to Harvard University, handling fiberglass can cause an allergic reaction that causes your skin to become itchy and red. Your skin also might break out in a red rash that moves along the area that touched the fiberglass. One of the best ways to prevent this is to wear long sleeves, pants and gloves. However, if small particles of the fiberglass break off and get underneath the clothing, this can also cause an allergic reaction.

Respiratory Problems

When you breathe in small particles of fiberglass, it can cause an allergic reaction in the respiratory tract. This can lead to asthma-like symptoms where you begin wheezing and have difficulty catching your breath. You also might experience coughing attacks that can make you have difficulty catching your breath. In severe cases, it can close your airway; this can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical intervention.

Blisters and Flaking Skin

In severe cases of fiberglass allergy, blisters might develop on your skin. According to Skin Care Physicians, this can develop when you are having a very strong reaction to the irritant or there has been a large exposure. In these cases, your blistering might develop after a rash has broken out and progressed. This can be very painful and also requires immediate medical treatment. Skin Care Physicians also reports that after the blisters have broken out, it is common to experience a crusting or flaking of the skin. This can be very disturbing for you if the area is in a prominently seen place.

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