If allergic to polyester, an itchy rash might be triggered by clothes worn, linens in the bed or upholstered pillows. Even though a reaction to polyester fabrics is considered unusual, toys that contain polyester fur or hair are likely allergens that can trigger reactions.
Is it contact dermatitis?
The allergic reactions manifest if a harmless substance including polyester instigates the overreaction of the immune system. This results to hives, redness and itchiness.
Contact dermatitis generally arises in a few hours of exposure to the irritant and settles in a few hours to days after eliminating the irritating substance from the environment.
It is important to note that the material itself might not be the trigger for the skin issues. The polyester resins can trigger allergies, but also fragrances, detergents, fabric softeners, animal hairs and perspiration that is trapped in the fabric and any treatments on the natural fabrics.
If the individual recently changed laundry products or soap before the rashes occurred, it is recommended to switch back to the products used previously. The doctor might also test the individual for reactions to the fabric and other household products, but this might take some time.
Natural fibers versus polyester
Even though natural fibers rarely trigger contact dermatitis, its erratic shapes allow space for dust mites, pollen and other allergens to be trapped within the fabric.
Since pure cotton easily wrinkles, manufacturers might treat the fabric using formaldehyde resins that can trigger an allergic reaction.
The smooth fibers readily shed dust and pollen but the material itself might be an irritant to the skin. Linen, pure silk, denim and wool rarely undergo treatment with resins, thus these natural fabrics are free of both polishing and polyester agents that can irritate the skin.