Polyester allergy

Polyester is a synthetic fiber in fabrics such as linens, clothing and even swimsuits. If an individual has polyester allergy, it is an allergic contact dermatitis that occurs once the skin becomes red in color, itchy and swollen due to exposure to the material. Always remember that allergic contact dermatitis is quite similar to other types of rashes and ultimately makes the diagnosis difficult. It is essential for the healthcare professionals to determine all the materials that have been touched by the individual in order to figure out if polyester is the source.

Skin tests

The skin tests identify the substances that might be responsible for causing an allergic reaction. There are 3 skin tests carried out to determine the allergen – scratch tests, patch tests and intradermal tests. In most cases of polyester allergy, the patch tests are the easiest and safest way to effectively diagnose contact allergies.

Take note that a patch test is a simple procedure that involves the application of small amounts of possible allergens on the skin on a strip of tape. The doctor leaves the tape in place for 2 days before removal. In case a small red spot develops at the site of the patch, it simply indicates that the individual is positive.

What is PPD?

PPD or paraphyenylene-diamine is a commonly used ingredient present in permanent hair dyes. Even though this substance is rarely present in clothing, other dyes on polyester can cross-react with PPD, thus resulting to an allergic reaction. Individuals who are allergic to PPD must steer clear from polyester or any type of synthetic fiber.

Even though allergic contact dermatitis due to polyester allergy is not common, the actual incidence is still unknown due to the insufficient patch tests. On studies, the allergens specifically for the textile dyes are not usually part of the patch testing.

What are the symptoms of polyester allergy?

If an individual has polyester allergy, the common symptoms that can manifest include a red-colored rash on the legs, hives, severe itchiness and skin abrasions. Individuals who have eczema or highly sensitive skin must avoid polyester in order to prevent further discomfort and skin irritation. If you want to learn more about allergies, click here.

How to provide relief to the allergy

Polyester allergy

Do not forget to apply a wet compress over the affected area and encourage the individual to take cool baths to reduce the itchiness and discomfort.

Even today, there is no cure for polyester allergy. On the other hand, use over-the-counter and prescription medications to help ease the symptoms. As a first aid measure to provide relief to the symptoms, you can provide antihistamines, calamine lotion and steroid creams. Do not forget to apply a wet compress over the affected area and encourage the individual to take cool baths. These are effective in relieving the itchiness and discomfort caused by the allergic contact dermatitis.


The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to instruct the individual to avoid any product that contains polyester. This can be difficult due to the popularity of synthetic polyester in the market among linens and clothing. On the other hand, there are other materials that can serve as alternatives such as silk and cotton.


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