Fiberglass is a manmade product, which comes in use since the 1930s for filtration and insulation. Whereas, in modern times, bathtubs, shower stalls, boat hulls, kayaks, and lots of other objects contain fiberglass. Tiny fibers work their way into the skin of your hands and arms, when you saw, trim, or handle fiberglass. It creates an irritating itch.
Undoubtedly, how to remove fiberglass from skin is the most common question of those who work in a field where fiberglass is made or things in which fiberglass is used.
Further, it is thin strands made up of glass blend in with other material like wool. The human eye cannot see these strands because they are so thin. It is preferred to wear long pants, boots, full sleeves, and heavy-duty gloves while working with fiberglass. However, even when you are wearing gloves, you can experience fiberglass stuck into the skin of the hands.
How Would You Know If You have Fiberglass in Your Skin?
If you are working with fiberglass, then you must be known to its hazards. However, if you are not familiar with it, and some pieces get stuck in your skin, then you will feel irritation and itching under your skin. Anyone who deals with fiberglass insulation can experience an allergy, which is called dermatitis. You may feel itching, but allergy will not show its signs right away. Hence, symptoms of allergy will be visible after 12-72 hours of exposure. The symptoms may vary individual to individual, and some people can have breathing issues, and some might have signs range from mild to severe and last for around 2-4 weeks.
How to Remove Fiberglass from Skin
With the help of some methods, you can remove fiberglass from your skin. Here are a few effective ways:
Method 1: Cold Shower Wash
Try to wash away the fiberglass from the top layer of the skin. For this purpose, take a cold shower bath for 5 minutes, and it will wash off fiberglass insulation from the top layer of the skin. Moreover, all the skin pores will be closed with the cold water, and it prevents that fiberglass from going inside the skin. At the next step, take a shower with warm water for at least 3 minutes. It will open up the skin pores as well as eliminate any piece of fiberglass present.
Method 2: Epsom Salt
To get fiberglass out of your skin, you can also use Epsom salt. Take a cup of Epsom salt to add it to a bowl of boiling water for the remedy. Let the salt dissolve totally. Further, mix the prepared solution with the warm bathing water. Take a bath with this water, or alternatively, you can dip the affected area in the water. This is how to remove fiberglass from skin. Besides it also helps you get rid of fiberglass itch and rash. Take a shower with cold water after removing the fiberglass.
Method 3: Use Nylon Stockings
It is one of the best remedies for how to remove fiberglass from skin. First, take a shower with warm water, and it will open up the skin pores. Next, scrape the affected area with nylon material gently. With nylon material start rubbing as it can hold the fiberglass and thus consequently remove them from the skin. Apply baby oil or a thick lotion to the affected area, and it will soother the affected area, which might have become red due to scrapping.
Method 4: Baking Soda Paste
Do you know how to remove fiberglass from skin? With the help of baking soda paste, you can remove fiberglass in skin.
Add half cup of baking soda into a bowl.
Pour a little water and mix the baking soda and water into a paste with your fingers. If the paste is too dry or powdery, you can add more water. If the paste becomes too soupy, you can add more baking soda.
Removing fiberglass from skin is not an easy nor a difficult thing. It depends on how much fiberglass splinters you have in your hand or arm. With the paste, dress an itchy area on your hands or arms.
Let the paste dry for at least 25 to 30 minutes and try not to move your hands or turn your wrist while the paste dries. Throughout the exposed parts of the fiberglass splinters, the powder will harden.
Wash the dried baking soda off of your skin. The paste will pull out all of the fiberglass splinters that attached to the paste and rinse away.
Method 5: Steam Shower
To know about how to get fiberglass out of your skin, you need to apply a number of several methods. A steam shower is one of them.
To get fiberglass out of your arm, you need to be extra careful while taking your shirt. Try not to drag the shirt over your arm or hand. The fiberglass splinters could go deeper into your skin with the pressure on the skin and making removal would be much more troublesome.
Turn on the hot shower and a little amount of cold water. For a few minutes, stay away from the water. The main idea is to get steam into the enclosed space without getting your hands or arms wet. With the help of steam, your pores would open and increase the chances of the fiberglass splinters falling out.
Adjust the water to a comfy temperature and step back into the stream. Let the water runoff of your arms and hands. If any of the splinters were loosened because of steam, then this step will rinse them away.
Apply natural soap to a non-coarse loofah and softly brush the skin on your hands and arms. Try to be gentle and don’t apply pressure. It can drive any remaining fiberglass splinters deeper. Wash your hands and arms with water to remove the soap.
Turn off the water and let your hands dry by gently pressing the towel against the skin. Don’t drag the towel.
Put on a loose-fitting or sleeveless shirt. Move on to the next method if you still have irritation and fiberglass rash.
According to IDPH, (the Illinois Department of Public Health), you have to wear long sleeves and gloves while working with fiberglass to limit your exposure to the fiberglass rods. Also, you have to take immediate measures to get fiberglass off your skin if you do come into direct contact with it.
Things You’ll Need
How to Remove Glass Splinters
Fiberglass splinters must be removed carefully to avoid leaving pieces behind in a person’s skin. It can lead to a painful infection if the fragments of splinters remain in the skin. Fiberglass splinters are one of the most general materials that can easily get into the skin. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, glass splinters are tricky to remove; they are hard to see.
Method 6: Use Tweezer/Needle
Rinse your hands with soap and water before you remove the glass splinter.
Take a sterilized sewing needle or a pair of tweezers together with rubbing alcohol. Tweezers must be tipped with a non-stick material may be effective for glass splinter removal. Glass is highly slippery as compared to wood or other matters that entrench into the skin.
Additionally, push the layer of skin aside that may be covering the glass shard, with the needle or tweezers smoothly.
Pull out the glass pieces of the skin with the help of needle or tweezers, frequently. Try to work slowly and carefully so that you don’t push the splinter by chance further into the skin.
Also, look at the de-splintered area with a magnifying glass to make sure that all of the glass has been removed. Clear glass is difficult to find, but sometimes it will sparkle in the magnifying glass.
To begin with final step, apply an antibiotic ointment to the skin. Use the bandage, if the wound is large or can get dirty easily. Otherwise, the NIH states that the wound heals more quickly with air exposure.
Things You’ll Need
Method 7: Using Duct Tape
- Gather all the things you need in this method.
- Have good lighting and a magnifying glass too.
- Find a roll of heavy and sticky tape.
- Don’t wash tape firmly onto the area with the fiberglass silvers.
- Also, pull off the tape in one sleek motion.
- Try not to use the regular tape because it is not too much sticky. Only duct tape is perfect for this purpose.
- Repeat the process a few times and take extra care of your hand while tapping and removing.
- Examine the area under the light and see if there is any glass left. Rub the skin gently with clean hands to feel for anything sharp or tender. If it happens, then it is a sign that you still have glass in your skin.
- Rinse the area with soap and water after the entire fiberglass is gone. Let the area dry and apply an antibiotic ointment to avoid infection.
Method 8: Baby Powder
You might not take it seriously, but baby powder is good for many things. It is great for rubbing on a fiberglass area of your body and removing the disturbance. Since you can possibly expose parts of your body with baby powder before you work. According to experts, it covers your pores and prevents the glass from getting in.
How can You Stop Itching from Fiberglass Insulation?
Undoubtedly, fiberglass itching is annoying. It is incredibly irritating, but if one has taken proper steps, then itching can be reduced to a large extent.
Here are a few ways that can help you reduce itching:
- If by chance you get fiberglass in your skin, you should avoid scratching or rubbing the affected area. It is naturally uncontrollable to resist itching as it is severe. However, if you itch, it will cause more itching. With scratching, the redness can increase, and it may even result in a small blister. So, you must stop scratching to prevent itching. Furthermore, with scratching, the fiber of fiberglass can go deeper into the skin, and it can create more problems.
- Also, don’t take the time to remove your clothing carefully. And avoid contacting your skin directly with the outer parts of clothes while removing. That’s because it can cause the fiberglass from the clothes to go into your skin. Above all, to avoid cross-contamination, you should wash your clothes separately.
Things to Consider
- In particular, you must take a bath and wash your body with soap to remove the fiberglass and reduce fiberglass itching. Don’t forget to wash your eyes also with water to remove any fiberglass splinter entered your eyes.
- To lessen itching or skin rash, you can apply lotion as well as anti-itch cream.
- On the whole, you can use external medications including, moisturizers, antihistamines, and corticosteroids. In addition, if you see any inflammation, you can apply corticosteroid ointments that contain fluocinonide, hydrocosteroid, or desonide. Ultimately, you should consult a doctor for better treatment.
- An oatmeal bath is also recommended to lessen itching and other fiberglass symptoms.
Will Fiberglass Come Out of Skin on its Own?
Yes, the fiberglass comes out of the skin on its own, but it takes time. By the time, human body treats it is an infection and emits it within two to three weeks. However, the itching and irritation cannot be accepted for two to three weeks. Itching can last for a couple of days. So, if you think that you cannot bear the pain or irritation, remove them off with any of the tricks mentioned above. Eventually, in rare cases, fiberglass can result in many chronic health hazards.
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains that glass is not as inflammatory as other familiar sources of splinters including wood or thorns. Definitely, glass splinters must be attended as soon as possible; still, they are not much likely to result in inflammation or infection if suspending the splinter removal is needed.
In the first place, one must seek medical care if the entire glass splinter is not dislodged, or if the splinter is embedded deeply into the skin.
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