Are you feeling itchy, rashes, and wheezing? If so, then you may be suffering from a polyester allergy. Polyester is one of the most popular fabrics, but unfortunately, it can cause a range of allergic reactions in some people. This article will discuss the symptoms associated with this condition and treatments that may help reduce the effects of an allergy to polyester.

What is a polyester allergy?

A polyester allergy is an allergic reaction caused by exposure to synthetic nylon or acrylic fibres found in many clothing items and other products made from these fabrics. The most common type of allergy is contact dermatitis, an itchy, scaly rash that appears on the skin when exposed to polyester. This can be caused by direct contact with the fabric or indirect contact with items such as detergents and fabric softeners containing these fibres. Other allergic reactions include asthma attacks, itching, sneezing and breathing difficulties.

Symptoms of polyester allergy

If you display any of the following symptoms, you may have a polyester allergy.

Itchy skin

The most common symptom of a polyester allergy is an itchy rash on the skin, typically after touching the fabric or wearing clothing made with it for extended periods. This rash can range from mild to severe in intensity depending on how sensitive the individual is, and can last several days if not treated promptly.


Hives are raised, and red bumps appear on the skin after exposure to an allergen such as polyester. These can cause intense itching and burning sensations which can be pretty uncomfortable for sufferers of this allergy.

Asthma attacks

Allergic asthma attacks often occur in those with a sensitivity to polyester fibres. Symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest may indicate an asthma attack caused by exposure to the fabric.


A runny nose or congestion associated with sneezing can also be triggered by contact with polyester fibres. This is known as allergic rhinitis, which can be uncomfortable and lead to difficulty breathing if it is not treated promptly.

Watery eyes

Allergic reactions to polyester can also cause watery, red eyes, which can be quite irritating and uncomfortable for sufferers of this allergy.


Coughing fits are another common symptom of a polyester allergy, as the fibres may irritate the throat and lungs, leading to coughing spells.


Exposure to polyester fibres can sometimes lead to headaches in those allergic to them. The intensity of the headache will depend on how sensitive the individual is, but it can range from mild to severe.


Feeling tired after coming into contact with polyester can also be a symptom of this allergy. This is due to the body using energy to respond to the allergen and fighting off any irritation it may have caused.


Swelling in specific areas, such as around the eyes or on the face, can also occur with polyester allergies. This can be uncomfortable and will typically go away once exposure to the fabric has been avoided.


Nausea is another common symptom of polyester allergies, as the fibres may irritate the stomach, leading to sickness and discomfort.


Sneezing fits are pretty familiar with an allergic reaction to polyester fabrics as they may irritate the nose and throat. This symptom can be quite unpleasant and will typically dissipate if exposure is avoided for some time.


In more severe cases, vomiting may occur after contact with polyester fibres. This can be uncomfortable and should be addressed by a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Difficulty breathing

Allergic reactions to polyester fabrics can sometimes cause difficulty breathing or asthma attacks in those sensitive to them. It is essential to seek medical help immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment if this occurs.


Lightheadedness or dizzy spells are common symptoms of a polyester allergy, as the irritant can affect the body’s circulation and cause these sensations.


In some cases, an allergic reaction to polyester can cause numbness in certain areas of the skin or even tingling sensations. This is due to irritation of the nerves caused by exposure to the fabric, which should go away once contact has been avoided.

Treatment for polyester allergy

The following are the most common treatment options for a polyester allergy.

Avoid contact

The best way to treat a polyester allergy is to avoid contact with fabrics containing this material as much as possible. If you must wear clothing made with it, wash it first to reduce any irritants that may remain on the fabric after manufacturing.

Change clothing

Making sure to wear clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton instead of synthetic ones like polyester is also essential to avoid further irritation and discomfort.

Allergen immunotherapy

This treatment involves exposing the individual to small doses of the allergen over time to help reduce sensitivity and ease symptoms. However, it should only be done under the supervision of an allergy specialist, as it can have serious side effects if not appropriately monitored.

All in all

Polyester allergies are more common than you think and can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, from coughing fits to headaches. The best way to prevent these reactions is to avoid contact with fabrics containing this material as much as possible and use natural fibres, such as cotton or wool when selecting clothing and bedding items. 

Over-the-counter medications can also be used to help reduce the symptoms associated with a polyester allergy, and prescription medications and allergen immunotherapy when needed. Ultimately, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition.