Fiberglass is a tiny, sharp splinter of glass that gets stuck in the skin. You can find this material in multiple places like planes, boats, construction material, plastic, etc.
Its prone to get stuck in the skin if you don’t cover your body properly. Often it irritates a lot. The article is about how to remove the nasty fiberglass from your skin.
What Is A FibreGlass?
Fiberglass is thin strands made up of glass mixed in with other material like wool. These strands are so thin that you won’t be able to see with naked eye.1
Prefer wearing long pants, full sleeves, boots, and heavy duty gloves when working with fiberglass.
Sometimes even after wearing proper clothing, it gets stuck into the skin of the hands. You will feel pain and irritation if they get under the skin.2
Exposure to the fiberglass can occur by direct skin contact, by breathing, or by swallowing the fibers fiberglass present in dust or working area.
It usually occurs in the indoor environment where fiberglass insulation work is going on.
Fiberglass In Skin Symptoms
Allergy to fiberglass can occur to anyone who handles fiberglass insulation. This allergy is referred to as contact dermatitis.
The allergy won’t start showing symptoms right away. You will be able to feel the symptoms of allergy after 12-72 hours of exposure.
The symptoms are individual dependent. Some people even get severe breathing issues with the fiberglass allergy. The symptoms can range from mild to severe and last for around 2 to 4 weeks.
Some of the most common symptoms of fiberglass in the skin or fiberglass allergy are as follows:
- Blisters on the infected area, which may ooze out a pus-like liquid
- Dry, scaly areas of skin
- Skin Hives
- Burning sensation in the skin
- Irritation when going in sun referred to as sun sensitivity
- Coughing attacks
- Asthma-like symptoms like wheezing and having difficulty when breathing
How Do I Know If I Have Fiberglass In My Skin?
You have to check for the symptoms to find out whether fiberglass is in your skin or not.
If you have flaking skin, skin rash, blister, etc. that is lasting from quiet few days that will suggest fiberglass insulation in your skin.
Additionally, for getting fiberglass in the skin, your working environment should have it, i.e., you can’t get fiberglass allergy if you don’t work with fiberglass..
If you continue facing moderate to the severe skin or breathing issues contact your dermatologist as soon as possible.
How To Remove Fiberglass From Skin?
There are several methods to get fiberglass out from your skin. Some of the most effective methods are explained below:
1.Cold Shower Wash
Try washing away the fiberglass from the top layer of the skin. For this, take a cold shower bath for a good 5 minutes. This will wash off fiberglass insulation from the top layer of the skin.
More off, the cold water will close the skin pores and prevent the fiberglass from going inside the skin.
Next, take a shower with warm water for a good 3 minutes. This will open up the skin pores and will eliminate any fiberglass presnet.
You can use Epsom salt to get fiberglass out of your skin. For the remedy, take a cup of Epsom salt to add it to a bowl of boiling water. Let the salt dissolve completely. Next, mix the prepared solution with the warm bathing water.
You can take a bath with this water. Alternatively, you can also dip the affected area in the water. This will not only remove it but also rid of fiberglass itch and rash.
After removing the fiberglass, take a shower with cold water for added benefits.
3. Use Nylon Stockings
Nylon stocking is one of the best remedies for removing fiberglass in the skin. For this, first, take a shower with warm water. This will open up the skin pores. Next, scrape the affected skin area with nylon material gently.
The nylon material on rubbing holds the fiberglass and thus remove them from the skin. After this, prefer applying baby oil or a thick lotion to the affected area. It will soothe the affected area which may have become red due to scrapping and also help you to get rid of fiberglass itch.
4. Use Duct Tape
Another effective remedy is removing them with duct tape or electrical tape. Tapes are preferred as it rips the area at one stretch when pulled. Use a tape that has the low consistency of glue to easily stick the fiberglass particles.
For the remedy, don’t wash off the affected area with water instead directly apply the tape to the affected area. Press the tape firmly from all sides so that it gets a good stick on your hand. Keep pressing for a few minutes.
After this, rip off the tape with a sudden jerk. This will let the fiberglass come out of your skin on its own. Repeat the process a few times until all the fiberglass comes out. To check whether the fiberglass is out of your skin or not use a magnifying glass.
Fiberglass appears like silver strands when seen with a magnifying glass. The process works wonders. However, it might take out some of your skin and may develop a sore too so, be cautious while doing this fiberglass remedy.
5.Pluck Them Out
Plucking out the fiberglass with a tweezer is another way to get rid of them. You can do it if it has affected a small area. Look for fiberglass strands with a magnifying glass.
Focus on their tips and pull them out from the skin. Try not put them inside. However, if you do so take a needle to remove them from the inside.
Always rub the tweezer or the needle with alcohol to avoid septic. You will take several attempts to remove them. So, don’t worry if you can’t remove them at once, try removing them again.
Applying an anti-itch cream to the affected area. This will soothe and moisturize the skin. It will provide relief from irritation. This will not remove the fiberglass but will provide relief from fiberglass skin rash too.
How To Stop Itching From Fiberglass Insulation?
Fiberglass itching is a nuisance. It is highly discomforting, but if appropriate steps are followed, then you can reduce the itching to a large extent.
Some of the ways by which you can reduce itching are as follows:
- Never scratch or rub the affected area. I know its difficult to control your hands as the itch is severe but if you itch it will only cause more itching. Scratching will increase the redness and may even cause a small blister. So, one way to prevent itching is to stop scratching. Additionally, if you scratch fiberglass fibers may go deeper into your skin creating more problem.
- Immediately remove the clothing carefully. Try not to contact the outer part of clothes with your skin directly when removing. It is because it may cause the fiberglass from the clothes to go into your skin. Moreoff, wash the clothes separately to avoid cross-contamination.
- Take a shower. Wash your entire body with soap to remove the fiberglass and reduce fiberglass itch. Also, wash your eyes with water to remove any fiberglass that may have entered your eyes.
- Apply a lotion or an anti-itch cream to reduce itching. and fiberglass skin rash.
- Use topical medications such as corticosteroids, antihistamines, and moisturizers. Additionally, if there is inflammation, use corticosteroid ointments containing desonide, hydrocortisone, or fluocinonide. However, prefer consulting a doctor before using any of the over-the-counter medications.3
- You can also take an oatmeal bath to reduce itching and other fiberglass symptoms.
How To Prevent Fiberglass Getting Into The skin?
Fiberglass exposure can be prevented by taking appropriate measures.4
The measures that can be undertaken to prevent fiberglass into the skin are as follows:
- Wearing appropriate clothing. Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing, and tight gloves to avoid direct contact with fiberglass. This will also reduce skin irritation.
- Cover your nose and mouth to prevent the fiberglass fibers going in your mouth. This will prevent inhaling of fiberglass.
- Wear safety goggles or glasses with side shield to protect the eyes.
- Try working with the glass in an open area to increase ventilation and to decrease the dust levels.
- Use a vacuum to clean the dust and fibers from the working area. Before vacuum wet the area.
- Take a shower immediately after handling or being exposed to fiberglass even if you don’t notice any irritation or itching. It will help remove off the fibers that are on your skin but aren’t causing any reaction. Prefer, washing with cold water and mild soap to keep infections at bay.
Additionally, you can take preventive measures to reduce exposure after you come in contact with the fiberglass.
Wash your eyes with water and take a shower to remove any of the fiberglasses that must have come in contact during the work.
Remove the clothes worn when working with fiberglass carefully and wash them separately from other clothes.
Additionally, if you are putting your clothes in the washing machine for washing then rinse off the machine thoroughly after the laundry is done to prevent cross-contamination with other garments.
Will Fiberglass Come Out Of Skin On Its Own?
Fiberglass comes out of the skin on its own. However, it takes time to comes out on its own. Our body treats it as an infection and ejects it within two to three weeks.
However, during the period they cause too much itching and irritation that is difficult to bear. Itching will last for a few days.
Therefore, if you feel you can’t bear the itch remove them off with any of the above-given remedies. In rare cases, the fiberglass may prove risky or cause any chronic health hazards.
How Long Does Fiberglass Itch Last?
Fiberglass itch lasts for around 5-10 days. However, the itching depends on the amount of contact, and by the way, it is contacted. If there is direct contact between your body parts and the fiberglass than that area will itch.
Additionally, the severity of itchiness will depend upon the amount of fiberglass sticking to your skin.
Higher the amount higher is the itching. Nevertheless, if you remove the fiberglass successfully from your skin, the itching will go off slowly within a day or two.
Fiberglass in the skin can cause future skin issues like severe rash, infection, and unbearable itching. If you are someone working with fiber glass its always feasible to take precuation to stop them from getting in your skin.
And if fiberglass is already there in your skin then, carry out the remedies as soon as possible to avoid any future skin issue.
|↑1||Chang CH, Wang CM, Ho CK, Su WB, Yu HS. Fiberglass dermatitis: a case report. 1996.|
|↑2||Masashi TSUNODA, Takamasa KIDO, Sachiyo MOGI, Yumiko SUGIURA, Eriko MIYAJIMA, Yuichiro KUDO, Tatenao KUMAZAWA, and Yoshiharu AIZAWA. Skin Irritation to Glass Wool or Continuous Glass Filaments as Observed by a Patch Test among Human Japanese Volunteers. 2014|
|↑3||Björnberg A. (1985) Glass fiber dermatitis. Am J Ind Med 8, 395–400.|
|↑4||Takayama K, Yokozeki H, Matsunaga K, Katayama I, Aiba S, Ito M, Ikezawa Z, Adachi A, Tokura Y, Natsuaki M, Furukawa F, Yagami A, Kono T, Inui S, Ikezawa Y, Aihara M. (2009) The guideline for contact dermatitis. Nippon Hifuka Gakkai Zasshi 119, 1757–93.|