Am I allergic to wool?

Some individuals end up with reddened lumps on the skin once wool touches their skin. In most cases though, a reaction is not brought about by allergies. Instead, direct exposure of the skin often triggers irritation due to the somewhat tickly nature of some wool-based clothes or due to the presence of chemicals in the fabric.

The grade of the material and form of garment can also affect the possibility of instigating allergy-like symptoms.

Close look on wool

Wool is a natural fiber that has been sheared from sheep and some goats. Once sheared, human hands or machines spin it into finer strands ideal for clothing and textile.


Contact dermatitis arises if a certain fabric or substance triggers a skin reaction.

The wool available in fabric stores are available in various grades. The finer grades have thinner and softer fibers and unlikely to trigger allergy-type reactions. The low-grade variants usually have scratchy, course fibers that can irritate the skin. In addition, cheap clothes might include chemicals that can trigger allergies.

Is it contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis arises if a certain fabric or substance triggers a skin reaction. This can vary from a minor rash to the formation of blisters. The later typically occurs if exposed to chemical constituents.

Wool instigates contact dermatitis in some individuals. It can affect highly sensitive areas such as the underarms or wrists. In some instances, the skin condition is not allergic in nature but simply a reaction of the skin to irritation.

Considerations to bear in mind

If the individual has a current skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, he/she is likely to react to the natural fibers. Scratchy materials can irritation the condition and trigger flare-ups like an allergic reaction.

Some might suffer from breathing issues while wearing the clothing. If the individual has asthma or ends up with difficulty breathing in the presence of pet hair or fibers, he/she might start wheezing if wool is worn.


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