Viscose rayon allergies are usually generated from prolonged exposure to viscose rayon. It is a source to the synthetic fabric by most textile industries. People who suffer from this allergy are most likely to have a low immune system like children or may be very sensitive to viscose rayon. For such an allergy antihistamines or hydrocortisone creams are used for treatment.
- What is viscose rayon
- Causes of allergies to viscose rayon
- Who is at risk
- Diagnosis and prevention
What is Viscose Rayon?
Viscose Rayon is a soft, semi-synthetic or generated cellulose fiber from wood pulp, with a natural cellulosic fiber-like structure closely similar to cotton. Its properties are more similar to natural fibers such as cotton or linen compared to other petroleum-based synthetic/thermoplastic fibers like polyester or nylon. This makes viscose rayon as one of the most preferred synthetic fabric by textile industries to make dresses, shirts, shorts, jackets, lining and many others outwears. Despite being useful, viscose rayon is known to cause mild to severe allergic reactions among individuals following frequent or prolonged exposure.
Causes of Allergies to Viscose Rayon
Allergic reactions occur following exposure to fabric materials containing viscose rayon through:
- Contact with the skin
- Inhalation of viscose rayon fibers present in the air
Who is at Risk?
According to the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS), individuals at risks of allergic reactions from viscose rayon include:
- People with prolonged exposure to viscose rayon fabrics have higher risks of developing sensitivity
- People suffering from skin sensitivities to chemicals blended with viscose rayon fabrics and used to make various clothing such as formaldehyde, dyes, etc.
- Persons with contact dermatitis from other multiple causes of allergies such as certain drugs, insect stings, pollen, etc.
- People with low levels of immunity to fight allergic reactions in the body such as children and individuals suffering from chronic/terminal diseases such as cancer
- Itching, rashes, swelling, hives, and reddening/inflammation of the skin
- Breathing difficulties accompanied by chest pain/tightness, congestion or wheezing or asthmatic attacks in severe events of persistent prolonged exposure
Diagnosis and Prevention
If you get exposed to viscose rayon and experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, seek immediate medical attentions from allergist or dermatologists. The allergist will perform patch tests to determine and confirm the most likely cause of viscose rayon allergy depending on your symptoms and history of exposure. Some ointments such as hydrocortisone creams (diphenhydramine), calamine lotions, or antihistamine medications may be prescribed to prevent further itching/irritation, and relief allergic symptoms, as well as protect the skin from bacterial or fungal infections. Since there is no available treatment for allergies, appropriate preventive measures can help minimize or avoid exposure to viscose rayon allergy such as:
- Getting rid of using softeners, bleaches, detergents, or fabric fragrances when washing your clothes
- Avoid using fabrics made of synthetic viscose-rayon materials
- Purchasing and using only allergic-free/hypoallergenic products from reliable manufacturers using 100% natural organic fabrics such as cotton, wool, silk, etc.
American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) (2017). Allergic Contact Rashes. Retrieved on 4th August, 2017 from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases
Barnhardt. (August, 2015). Know Your Fibers: Cotton vs. Viscose Rayon. Retrieved on 4th August, 2017 from https://www.barnhardtcotton.net/blog/know-fibers-cotton-vs-viscose-rayon/
Britannica Encyclopedia. (2017). Viscose Rayon. Retrieved on 4th August, 2017 from https://www.britannica.com/topic/viscose-rayon
Swicofil (2017). Passion for Success: Rayon Viscose. Retrieved on 4th August, 2017 from http://www.swicofil.com/viscose.html