Polyester Allergy – Everything you need to know

According to WebMD, over 50 percent of the population is allergic to at least one element.(1)

These conditions lead to immense discomfort, in addition to the loss of money and time, especially since the sufferers do not always take the necessary steps to reduce reactions.

Polyester allergy is one of the many conditions affecting members of our society.

To prevent inconveniences and poor health, you should educate yourself on how to manage it. This is, especially important for those who test positive for polyester as an allergen since there is no cure.

This text will cover everything you need to know about the polyester allergy.


What is Polyester Allergy?

Polyester is a material used in the making of clothes, bed sheets, carpets, rags, and pajamas.

This type of fabric is preferred in the making of clothes because of its capacity to store heat, therefore, keeping people warm. It is also hydrophobic, and this is why many jackets are made of the material.

Despite all its positive qualities, polyester still leads to the over-reaction of immune systems in many people.

Physical contact with the material leads to the development of allergy symptoms.


Causes of Allergy to Polyester

Materials made of polyester fabric are the main cause of the allergic reaction.

Typically, the following products are made of polyester:

  • Pajamas
  • Cycling outfit and other clothes for workouts
  • Bedsheets
  • Carpets
  • Dolls

According to Red Deer First Aid, babies who use dolls that contain thin polyester fabrics are more likely to show the symptoms of this type of allergy since the material is a lot more reactive.(2)

A major symptom of a polyester allergy is the development of dermatitis.

This also appears when natural fibers are used, although to a lesser degree. Allergy to polyester is mainly thought to result from the holding of too much heat and sweat.

This allergy type is not just caused by the fabric.

A percentage of its patients have also been seen to develop symptoms after coming into contact with the fragrances, detergents, and softeners designed for polyester materials.

It has even been suggested that these products may be the cause of the allergies since they are used in cleaning polyester materials.

According to Healthguideinfo, these conditions make the allergy worse:(3)

» Wearing of tight clothes

» Failing to observe proper levels of hygiene

» Pre-existing skin conditions

» Excessive sweat in clothes and on the skin. This can also result from wearing poorly ventilated clothes.

» Leaching of dye from the fabrics

» Excessive heat on the skin

» Excess lipids on the skin’s surface

» Obesity



People with very sensitive skin make up a huge proportion of polyester allergy sufferers.

The effects of the material are usually seen on the skin. Depending on the person’s sensitivity, the reaction can even occur immediately.

If you suspect that you may have a polyester allergy, check for the following symptoms whenever you come into contact with the fabric:

  • The development of contact dermatitis
  • Hives in areas on the upper part of your body
  • The reddening of parts of the body, including hands and legs. These parts also become warm to touch.
  • Abrasions on the skin
  • Softness of the skin
  • Itching that can get severe
  • A warm feeling on the skin
  • The development of rashes on the skin
  • Eczema
  • Shortness of breath
  • Problems when breathing in and out

According to Polyesterallergy, the condition can also lead to chest pains and swelling.(4)

Symptoms that occur on the skin usually show on surfaces that were in contact with the fabric. Contact dermatitis is an irritation or rash that develops on a single location of the skin.

The inflammation only affects the superficial part of the skin of the affected individual. These rashes can last for weeks before they heal.


When should you see a Doctor?

Polyester allergy is not always a serious condition. If controlled, you will not even need to see a doctor.

The severe and life-threatening symptoms of the condition are shortness of breath, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and swellings.

The pain in the chest comes as a tight feeling. It is a symptom that can be life-threatening and needs to be addressed quickly.

Heavy breathing is, particularly very serious. In many cases, it necessitates admission to the emergency room.



Since the cause of polyester allergy has not been established, creating a cure has been a challenge.

However, the symptoms can be treated using medication.

According to Allergy Authority, antihistamines and corticosteroids can be used to deal with the symptoms.(5)

When you experience symptoms of polyester allergy, the first thing you should use is antihistamines.

The contact with polyester causes the development of histamines, and these are the actual cause of the inflammation and general symptoms of the allergy.

Antihistamines block them, and in the process, treat the condition. Antihistamines can be taken as tablets, nasal sprays, liquids, eye drops, or capsules.

Usually, you can get them over the counter, although some pharmacies will demand a prescription first.

Corticosteroids are also used to treat allergic reactions.

These are mainly used to treat swelling and inflammation that may have resulted from the allergy. The medication can be taken through the nose or mouth.

Oral corticosteroids are taken as pills or capsules, while the nasal drug is taken as a spray. According to HealthLine, the medication should be taken orally if the intention is to treat an allergy.(6)

In addition, polyester allergy sufferers can get relieved from the symptoms of their conditions using steroid creams and calamine lotions.

It is important to note that these medications have side effects. Ideally, antihistamines should be taken before going to sleep since they can lead to uncomfortable side effects.

You should expect to experience drowsiness, and this can be dangerous if you intend to drive.

Corticosteroids are quite different from the steroids used by athletes, but the side effects are more or less the same.

They should not be taken over long periods since this can lead to the development of serious side effects.

Prolonged use can lead to high blood pressure and weight gain!


Preventing Polyester Allergy

Treating the symptoms of polyester allergy is not the most comfortable experience.

Since there is no option of curing the actual condition, the best you can do is prevent the allergies from occurring. It is, thus advisable to stay away from polyester products as much as possible.

You will need to replace your bed sheets, carpets, clothes, training gear, and pajamas. These are the products that are most likely to contain polyester fabrics in your household.

Also, make the transition gradual since you might easily end up discovering that you are allergic to another fabric.

Allergy to textile products affects many people, and you don’t want to keep altering your entire household.

Try to establish what materials you are allergic to and what is safe to use.

When shopping for clothes and other items, always check the label to make sure they are free of polyesters. If you are not allergic to cotton, you can go for items that are made of 100 percent of the material.

These can be great replacements for your bedding and pajamas.

Alternatively, you can try to find products made of silk, although these can be much harder to get. In addition to bedding and floorings, you should check to make sure your window coverings don’t have polyester fabrics in them.

Ideally, your furniture should be made of leather. The coverings on furniture usually contain some amounts of polyester, and this can trigger reactions in allergy sufferers.

After doing your attire shopping, make sure you wash the clothes around 5 times to get rid of the dye.

According to Allergysymptomsx, leaching of dye contributes to skin irritations.(7) In case you get an allergic reaction, the symptoms are bound to escalate faster because of the leaching of dye.

Other alternatives to polyester include:

» Linen

» Lycra

» Wool

» Denim

These products are not treated using resins, and this reduces the chances of getting skin irritation.

Similarly, you should stay away from polyester fragrances, detergents, and softeners.


Finding the Source of your Allergy

If you always experience the symptoms of polyester allergy after coming into contact with the fabric, then there is a good chance that it is the cause of your condition.

However, according to LiveStrong, the actual cause could even be animal hairs, body sweat, or treatments used.(8)

To conclusively establish the cause of your allergy, you will have to undergo medical tests. As noted on WebMD, IgE tests can be used to identify the triggers of your allergies.(9)

In other tests, the allergens are eliminated from the environment, then reintroduced. If the symptoms recur, this will be an indication that the given element is responsible for your conditions.



Polyester allergy is a lot more common that people realize.

It is among the many allergic conditions experienced by over 50 percent of people in the world.

The sufferers develop mild to severe symptoms when exposed to polyester materials. Polyester allergy can be treated using the normal allergy medications.

You should, however, remember that these medications have side effects and can affect your daily activities.

To prevent such reactions, stay away from polyester materials. Instead, use products made of silk, cotton, denim, wool, Lycra or linen.


Read more: