By Gary M. White, MD

Fiberglass dermatitis (FD) is intense itching caused by exposure to fiberglass wool and its filaments.


Intense pruritus with a "prickly" quality in patients exposed to fiberglass wool and filaments is characteristic. Since the fiberglass may penetrate clothing, covered areas may be affected. There is no primary lesion, but excoriations, papules, erythema, and eczematous areas may be seen. Diagnosis may be made by microscopic examination, cellophane tape stripping or KOH scraping of affected skin demonstrating spicules.


Elimination of exposure to the fiberglass is paramount. Bathing and washing affected clothing is important, although the spicules may be transferred to another person's clothes in the washer.


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