Have you ever experienced skin irritation after putting on certain clothes? You may be allergic to the fabric. Symptoms include allergic contact dermatitis (redness, scaling, and itching), burning eyes, and chest tightness. Fabric allergies are mostly caused by formaldehyde resins and para-phenylenediamine. These synthetic ingredients make fabrics waterproof and resistant to wrinkles and shrinkage. Even some natural fibers are treated by formaldehyde resins, so it’s important to be knowledgeable about the companies that make your fabrics.
Fabric Allergy Diagnosis
If you believe you may have a fabric allergy, an allergist can perform an allergy test to confirm the diagnosis. An allergy patch test can identify which fabrics or chemicals irritate your skin. The test takes about two days to confirm the diagnosis. If the results are positive, your doctor will develop a treatment plan for you.
Fabric Allergy Treatment
The best treatment for fabric allergy is avoidance; however, it may be impossible to avoid all fabrics that cause an allergic reaction. Often, people who are allergic to formaldehyde in fabric can tolerate clothing that has been washed many times. You should look for clothing that’s only lightly treated with resins, such as pure cotton, polyester, nylon, and acrylic. For more severe allergies, your allergist can prescribe a cortisone to soothe your symptoms related to allergic contact dermatitis. Also, over-the-counter medications can treat burning eyes.
For concerns about a fabric allergy, visit the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers. With access to the latest allergy testing and treatment, we can diagnose your allergies in one of our six convenient locations throughout Manhattan and Queens: Murray Hill, Midtown, Upper West Side, Chelsea, Upper East Side, and Glendale. We see both pediatric and adult patients and can accommodate for same day appointments.
Call (212) 686-4448 to book your appointment today.