What am I allergic to?

posted 2 years ago in Wellness
Post # 2
47193 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You don’t have an allergic reaction to something new. You have to be exposed to a substance to develop antibodies to a specific allergen. You may have developed new allergies, but you have to be exposed to a substance more than once to have an allergic reaction.

If it continues to be a problem, ask your doctor for allergy testing.

Post # 3
4878 posts
Honey bee

zeebee1 :  I’m allergic to everything. So here’s what you do. Take notes about what you eat and come into contact with. Dates and times. It’s a giant pain but you can  see the patterns. 

Look at what you touch first thing. Sheets? Lotions? Soap? Look at the detergent or softener. Many times you can develop an allergy to fragrance in those items. Think of anything that’s new or changed. Also this allergy season is hell for those of us with allergies and those that never had them before are having symptoms. 

Go get some zyrtec that stuff is magic. 

Post # 4
1457 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

If it’s just your neck, then think contact allergy. Any new hair products? Try some Benadryl too. I’m allergic to blue dye in jeans – makes my legs extremely itchy but no redness. Good luck, I agree with pp write everything down!

Post # 5
110 posts
Blushing bee

Well if it’s only on your neck and arms and not anywhere you can’t start eliminating. What comes in contact with your neck and arms that doesn’t come in contact with out parts of your body. You hair (shampoo/conditioner)? Jewellery (purchase a new necklace/bracelets lately)? A sweater (any new material added to your wardrobe)? Do you wash your shirts with a particular laundry powder that you don’t wash your pants with? Have you bought any new perfumes lately? These are somethings that might cause the rash to be on your top half more than your bottom half.

Post # 6
47193 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Be careful with your use of Zyrtec. You can have killer withdrawal symptoms when you discontinue it. It can feel like your whole body has the worst burning itch you can imagine. Many people have to taper off their dosage over a month or more.

The location of the rash doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with being exposed to something only in that are of your body.

Post # 7
2635 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

zeebee1 :  what are things that only touch your arms and neck? Start there

Post # 8
4878 posts
Honey bee

+1 to what Jules said. It won’t let me reply for some reason to tag her.

You can develop an allergy to something familiar. I developed an allergy to a perfume I had used for years. So start simple like the pp said what do you touch first thing in the morning to your neck and arms for instance? Are you sleeping in a necklace? (which is likely a nickel allergy) etc.

Post # 10
1258 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

zeebee1 :  Sorry to hear about your troubles – sounds miserable, especially when you’re dealing with such big life changes too!

As PPs said, the location of the rash doesn’t necessarily mean that those parts of your body alone were in contact with whatever is causing the issue. Rashes/responses to a systemic issue can manifest in some body parts and not others. It’s possible you could be reacting to a food, rather than a topical product. 

Often in these situations people gravitate towards more eco-friendly products (detergent, body wash etc.) but these aren’t always better. In fact, sometimes they are worse. I would try and select products that are fragrance free and designed for sensitive skin wherever possible to reduce irritation. You could also look at whether getting a charcoal filter for your showerhead could be beneficial. I know I always react to water in different cities (red itch and blotchy rash on my chest and back after showering), but it goes down within an hour after contact. 

Depending on what part of the world you are in, you might want to also look up the current pollen levels. I moved to Melbourne from New Zealand about 18 months ago and can’t believe how insane the pollen counts and asthma and hayfever rates are here during Spring.

Have you asked a pharmacist for advice? If not, they may be able to provide some suggestions to help tide you through until your doctors appointment. As PPs said, in the meantime you should document everything you eat and products you come into contact with (even if you can’t determine whether they make things worse) as this may be useful for your doctor. 

Good luck – I hope you find some relief soon!

Post # 11
8400 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

I agree with PP. If it is neck and chest mainly I would maybe try a different shampoo etc for a couple of days. Really hope the doctors can help. Be careful with what you are putting onto your skin to help. I spend years using cream for rashes and it was the actually creams that I was allergic too. Very rare and it took the doctors ages to figure out.

Post # 13
10567 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

zeebee1 :  

Oh, Bee.  How I empathize.  I’ve been going through the same thing for months.  My dermatologist is sure it’s internal, rather than external.  It’s one of my meds, we’re suspicious of Wellbutrin right now—the one drug I don’t want to quit.

I went off of SSRIs, thinking they could be it—nope.  Then I thought maybe it was the mega doses of biotin I was taking (30,000 micrograms), nope.  So, the next thing to experiment with is the Wellbutrin.  I’m tapering down, the itch is minutely better and I feel horrible.  Very pissy with an insatiable craving for sweets that’s started making its presence felt on the scale.

In the middle of all of this, I developed a nasty case of eczema over a huge area.

I see the dermatologist again Thursday, hopefully, she’ll have some better ideas.

I so hope your problem gets cleared up fast.  It’s just miserable.

Oh, and fwiw, my primary did allergy testing months ago—I’m not allergic to anything.  Go figure.

Post # 14
4878 posts
Honey bee

Hmm try the shampoo or conditioner change but change one at a time. 

Then get a free and clear type detergent. I also double rinse now. 

Post # 15
958 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’m not a doctor, but I have terrible allergies and super sensitive skin.
My first guess would be detergent – try different “free and clear” varieties – they are not all the same. I can only use certain ones (I’m in the US and cannot use any kind of Tide, for example, even free and clear). Go with a “free and clear” fabric softner as well. To me, detergent seems the most likely, although it could be shampoo or soap. Soap can mess you up and really dry you out – I used Dove for years, but my dermatologist had me switch to Oil of Olay and my skin is so much better. Also look into Vani Cream – they have face soap and moisturizer that have, basically, nothing in them. I have seen them at the drugstores, but I usually just get it on Amazon.
Hopefully the doctor can help you. Good luck!

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