Do you have scratching skin? Irritated eyes? Trouble breathing? You may be have a wool allergy. A number of people may experience contact dermatitis when they touch or are exposed to sheep’s wool. But what is a wool allergy and how does it differ from a sensitivity ?
Most medical experts, without neglecting the discomfort caused by the sensitivity of wool, say that “real” allergies to wool are rare. A person allergic to wool has an allergic reaction, as would a person allergic to cats or pollen when she comes into contact with these allergens.
40 to 50 million people have allergies. It is not clear exactly how many people are allergic to wool. The most common side effect of an allergy to wool is a rash on the face, arms, and hands. This rash may occur immediately after contact with the wool or may take a few days to appear.
Most allergies to wool are thought to be a reaction to lanolin. If you have a reaction to lotions, creams and makeup containing lanolin, you will also have a problem with raw wool.
To determine if you have a real allergy to wool, you will be able to take a dermatologist’s test or get a pharmacy test. If you are allergic to wool, you will absolutely have to find a different fiber to knit serenely. Determining the cause of the reaction is the first essential step in determining what to avoid and how you can enjoy your passion without experiencing an allergic reaction.
I am not allergic, but I have sensitive skin, what can I do?
You love wool, you love knitting, you’re swooning in front of beautiful sweaters and beautiful materials, but you end up with a multitude of red patches on the skin as soon as you put on a sweater. For sensitive skin, it is important to favor fine fibers such as angora, alpaca, merino or yak. In reality, it is the “thick” and hard fibers that give you red patches (sheep wool, etc.). If your budget is a little tight, turn to the wool “kid something” or “baby something” (baby alpaca, baby merinos, kid mohair etc.). These are wools that are often provided for layettes and babies, so they have very thin and flexible fibers adapted to the skin of babies.
Indeed, the flexibility of the fibers is important too. It’s like the thorns of a cactus, you will tend to sting you more easily with the hard spines of a cactus than with those of a cactus where they will be soft.
And you, are you allergic to wool? Do you have any tips for those who are allergic or have sensitive skin ?