Wool Allergy


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wool allergyI think I’m allergic to wool. What are allergic reactions to wool and what should I expect?

Best Answer:

Allergy doctors agree that a true wool allergy is rare. However, persons who are “allergic to wool”  will attest that they experience allergic reactions when they come in contact with wool.

Persons who have a wool allergy which try on a sweater for example state that the scratchy itch is so immediate and so miserable; they must take it off immediately!

Is experiencing the itch a wool allergy? Most allergy doctor believe that some people are more prone to experience irritation from wool, but that doesn’t always mean it is a true allergic response. However for people with atopic dermatitis or eczema, those same doctors will recommend the avoidance of wool, because of it’s irritating tendency.

Other Wool  Allergies

Lanolin which can be found in many personal care products is actually wool alcohol, extracted from wool. Many people with known wool allergies will also have a tendency towards any contact with lanolin.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology states that a chronic allergy sufferer will experience respiratory allergies from wearing wool. However, their research indicates that this is not from the wool itself but rather from other allergens in or in the wool.

Wool Allergy Relief

Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets to protect you from a wool allergy other than avoidance. In the old days, people wore wool because they beleived it kept them warmer, but there are many synthetic alternatives to wool that do not show to cause allergic reactions.

About the author: Dana Jacobs is a dress designer in New York City.

KDTV 207 – Yarn for People with Wool Allergies

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  • Excellent post. I absolutely love this site. Stick with it!

  • Stacey:

    Most people who have wool based allergies will not be allergic to alpaca. Alpaca doesn’t contain lanolin found in wool (lanolin holds dust and microscopic allergens that create allergies to wool), which allows for the hypoallergenic nature of the fiber.

    Baby alpaca is the most luxurious (in my opinion as soft as cashmere but without the itch) and incredibly warm in winter. Amazon has a good range of 100% baby alpaca items.

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