Pain In The Glass: If You Get Fiberglass Rash On Your Skin, Do This

Pain In The Glass: If You Get Fiberglass Rash On Your Skin, Do This

So there you were, eager to kickstart that DIY project you’ve been dreaming about.

The mission? Installing thermal insulation in your home.

The material you were about to work with looked as harmless and inviting as cotton candy. You wouldn't expect something so fluffy to cause such discomfort. 

However, as you worked on your task, it became apparent that this material isn't as sweet as cotton candy.

A man is laying insulation on a wooden floor, unaware of the potential fiberglass irritation to his skin.

Shortly after you began, your skin started to itch. Then came the redness. Next, the irritation. Before you knew it, you were in the throes of a full-blown fiberglass rash. 

If you've heard this story before or if this is your first time being exposed to fiberglass and dealing with this annoying skin condition, this article is for you.

We’re here to provide you some much-needed relief and to turn the tables on fiberglass rash. We cover everything about this rash - from its causes, treatments, and and how to help prevent and mitigate the risks of fiberglass. We'll even introduce you to a secret weapon - Dermeleve®. But more on that later. 

So, if you love doing your own projects or work in construction, get ready for a detailed guide on how to treat and prevent fiberglass rash. Stay tuned!

Relief, we promise, is as sweet as cotton candy.

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The Culprit: Fiberglass Rash

What is Fiberglass, exactly?

Fiberglass is a type of synthetic material that consists of very fine fibers of glass. It is commonly used in various industries due to its versatility and strength.

Closeup of fiberglass

The process of making fiberglass involves heating glass until it reaches a molten state, which is then forced through tiny holes to create very thin strands. These strands are then woven together to create a fabric or mat, which can be molded into various shapes.

The main advantage of fiberglass is its strength, as it is stronger than many traditional materials like wood or plastic.

Additionally, fiberglass is lightweight, resistant to corrosion, and has excellent insulating properties. Its durability makes it a popular choice in the construction industry for insulation, roofing, and reinforcement purposes. It is also used in the automotive industry for making body panels, boat manufacturing, and in the production of sports equipment.

A spool of woven fiberglass

Overall, fiberglass offers numerous benefits and is widely used in various applications due to its strength and versatility. 

What Causes Fiberglass Rash?

Fiberglass rash happens when tiny particles of fiberglass irritate the skin, causing contact dermatitis. Fiberglass materials can release tiny shards into the air or get stuck in clothes when handled or installed.

Glass fibers can irritate the skin

When these fibers touch your skin, they can make it red, itchy, and cause a raised rash. Symptoms can vary based on how sensitive a person is to fiberglass and how long they've been exposed.

Common Culprits for Fiberglass Rash

  • Direct Contact: Handling fiberglass insulation or other products without proper protection can lead to direct contact with the skin.

A pair of hands holding a pink piece of fiberglass insulation.
  • Contaminated Clothing: Failing to wash contaminated clothing properly may reintroduce loose fibers onto the skin after initial exposure.

  • Sweat Trapping: Excessive sweating can exacerbate the irritation by trapping loose fibers against your skin for an extended period.

  • Inadequate Ventilation: Working in confined spaces or poorly ventilated areas increases the likelihood of inhaling airborne fiberglass particles that settle on exposed areas, resulting in rashes

The Symptoms: How to Recognize Fiberglass Rash

Symptoms of Fiberglass Rash

Itching is a common symptom of fiberglass rash. And the itching in the affected area can be intense.

You might notice symptoms within a few hours or even days after touching fiberglass. The skin can turn red and inflamed, like a mild sunburn.

A person's hands with red skin, possibly indicating fiberglass rash.

You might get a rash with small bumps or blisters where the fiberglass touched your skin. Swelling could occur around the affected area, especially if you have an allergic reaction. In severe cases, you might feel a burning or tingling sensation.

If you experience these symptoms after working with fiberglass insulation or other products that have glass fibers, it's important to get the right treatment and prevent further exposure to avoid making your condition worse.

The Science Behind It: Understanding the Effects of Fiberglass on the Skin

Fiberglass fibers can irritate and inflame the skin when they touch it. Mechanical irritation causes the prickly fibers to physically irritate the skin's surface. When our bodies react, they release histamine. This chemical triggers an immune response and makes us itch.

Fiberglass also has tiny particles called splinters that can get stuck in our skin. These splinters can make the irritation worse. They might cause redness, swelling, and blisters. The size of the splinters affects how deep they go into our skin. This, in turn, determines how severe the symptoms are.

Some people may have an allergic reaction to fiberglass, which can make this uncomfortable situation even worse. When people encounter allergens like fiberglass resin or insulation materials, their immune system reacts strongly and causes a skin rash.

Understanding why fiberglass may affect your body is important. It will help you take steps to prevent any negative impact on your health.

Prevention is Key: Tips to Avoid Fiberglass Rash

To prevent fiberglass rash, cover your exposed skin. Wear long sleeves, pants, and gloves before handling materials that contain fiberglass. This creates a barrier between your skin and the tiny fibers. Additional protective includes goggles, a mask or respirator, and a hat. When working with fiberglass, it's important to take certain precautions to protect yourself. 

These tips will help you stay safe:

  • Use protective gear: Wear items like goggles, masks, and gloves to prevent particles of fiberglass in the skin, your eyes, and lungs.
A collection of safety equipment on a white background.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area: Make sure there is good air circulation by opening windows or doors. This will help prevent the inhalation of loose fibers. 
  • Clean up properly: After working with fiberglass, clean all surfaces with damp cloths or mops to remove any loose fibers. Dispose of leftover pieces and debris in secure containers. Also be sure to thoroughly clean exposed clothing in a washing machine.
  • Shower immediately after exposure: Once you finish working with fiberglass, take a shower using warm running water and mild soap This will help remove any remaining loose strands of fiber on your body. 
A close up of a shower head with water coming out of it.
  • Avoid scratching: If you develop an itch from fiberglass particles, resist the urge to scratch. Scratching can lead to further irritation or infection of the affected area.
A man is experiencing fiberglass rash irritation on his arm.

Treating Fiberglass Rash: Soothing the Itch and Redness

If you find yourself dealing with that unbearable itch and redness fiberglass exposure can lead to, don't worry - there are ways to calm your skin down. Here are some  treatments to help relieve your discomfort:

  • Antihistamines: Over-the-counter antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can help reduce itching and inflammation associated with fiberglass rash.
A syringe labeled antihistamine, which can relief for fiberglass irritation on the skin.
  • Cold compress: Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area can help soothe the skin and reduce itching.
A woman demonstrating how to treat a fiberglass rash with an ice pack or cold compress..
  • Oatmeal bath: Taking a bath with colloidal oatmeal can provide relief for irritated skin. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the rash.
  • Aloe vera: Applying pure aloe vera gel can provide a cooling effect and reduce inflammation. It also helps moisturize the skin and promote healing.
Aloe Vera
  • Calamine lotion: Calamine lotion can help relieve itching and dry out the rash. It contains ingredients like zinc oxide and ferric oxide, which have soothing properties.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with fiberglass rash.

We've saved the best for last. Our favorite treatment for fiberglass rash is Dermeleve®. This fast-acting, long-lasting topical cream is safer and more effective than the competition.


Topical steroids, like hydrocortisone, are popular and can be found in many anti-itch treatments at drug stores. However, it's important to be aware of the risks associated with them, and to think about other options for soothing fiberglass rash.


A tube of Dermleve® in front of fiberglass insulation


Unlike topical steroids, Dermeleve® stands out as an exceptional treatment choice. Topical steroids can carry potential risks like skin thinning and topical steroid withdrawal (TSW). In contrast, Dermeleve® offers a safer solution without these side effects.

Dermeleve® relieves itching and inflammation from fiberglass rash fast. You don't have to wait days or weeks to see the effects with Dermeleve®.

What also sets Dermeleve® apart is its long-lasting effectiveness, providing ongoing relief. The unique formula allows for long-term use without the worries of topical steroids. It ensures both effectiveness and safety. A single application of Dermeleve® can provide a full night of restful sleep. Even better, it can be used whenever and for as long as needed to provide relief, unlike topical steroids.

Remember, it's best to talk to a doctor for a proper diagnosis and advice on treatments that are right for you.

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Wrap Up

If you work with fiberglass, it's important to be careful of your health whether you're a DIY enthusiast or construction worker.

To lower the risks related to fiberglass, it's important to follow safety measures and act promptly if exposed. This can greatly help in minimizing discomforts such as itchiness and rashes.

Working with fiberglass can result in skin irritation and an itchy rash.

Research institutions and the Department of Health emphasize the risks of working with fiberglass. Measures like wearing protective gear, washing work clothes separately, and avoiding direct skin contact are all recommended.

Furthermore, seek immediate remedies if your skin has been in contact with fiberglass. Treatments such as antihistamines or specific creams like Dermeleve® can help prevent skin pain and a rash. If your symptoms don't go away or get worse, make sure to seek medical help.

No matter what your project is, it will always turn out better if you stay smart and take preventative measures to stay safe.

Click here for more information about Dermeleve®.


FAQ's About Fiberglass Exposure

Q: What is fiberglass rash?

A: Fiberglass rash is a skin irritation caused by exposure to fiberglass. It is also known as fiberglass dermatitis or fiberglass itch. Fiberglass can make your skin itchy, red, and sometimes cause a rash.

Q: How does one get fiberglass rash?

A: Fiberglass rash occurs when the skin comes into contact with fiberglass. Exposure to fiberglass on your skin can cause irritation and create an itchy rash.

Q: What are the symptoms of fiberglass rash?

A: The symptoms of fiberglass rash include itching, redness, and sometimes a rash. If you inhale fiberglass particles, you might wheeze or feel like it's hard to breathe. If respiratory symptoms occur, you may need medical help and should seek it immediately.

Q: How do you remove fiberglass from your skin?

A: To remove fiberglass from the skin, wash the affected area with water and mild soap. Gently use a washcloth to scrub the skin to dislodge and particles of fiberglass out of your skin. Avoid using hot water, as it can open up pores and allow fiberglass to go deeper into the skin.

Q: Can fiberglass be removed from the skin?

A: Yes, you can remove fiberglass from skin. Make sure to wash the affected area of your skin as soon as possible. Get rid of any fibers you can visibly see on your skin. If the fiberglass is deeply embedded or causing severe symptoms, it's best to get medical help.

Q: What can I do to prevent fiberglass rash?

A: To avoid getting fiberglass rash, you need to be careful when working with or near fiberglass. Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and gloves, to minimize skin contact. Use proper ventilation and respiratory protection to avoid breathing in fiberglass dust. After you work with fiberglass, make sure to wash your hands and any exposed areas well to get rid of any leftover fibers from your skin.

Q: Is fiberglass dangerous to your health?

A: Fiberglass is not considered carcinogenic or highly toxic. However, it can cause skin irritation and respiratory issues if you don't take the necessary precautions. Exposure to fiberglass dust or particles can cause respiratory issues if it happens often or over a long period. It's important to follow safety guidelines and limit exposure to fiberglass.

Q: Can fiberglass rash still occur even after removing the fiberglass?

A: Yes, fiberglass rash can still happen even after removing fiberglass particles. This may happen if the fibers shards have become stuck in the skin or have gone deeper into the pores. If you continue to experience symptoms, it's advised to consult a healthcare professional.

Q: What should I do if I come in contact with fiberglass?

A: If you touch fiberglass, rinse the affected area with water and soap right away. Use a washcloth to gently scrub the skin and safely remove any visible fibers. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical advice.

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