And I'm so glad you found me and all of the other readers! Sigh. I remember being at my worst point (sounds like yours) and it's life changing. Your day to day life is altered in SO many ways when you're allergic to propylene glycol. It's in everything from makeup to food to e-cigarettes and more. it's EVERYWHERE. What worked for me was avoiding my allergens, educating myself about them and continue down the road of getting allergy tests. I did the patch tests and the prick tests and then I also did some blood tests and looked for lactose intolerance and celiac disease. (I was negative on the latter.) Along with all of this is just giving it time. My day to day life changed completely. My experiences have changed. I got rid of my whole wardrobe (bc of the synthetics), my hair products, my glasses, jewelry, furniture - everything. But here's the thing - you start to get used to it. Every now and then I get a little bitter, but I push past it. And you will too. You'll get your new routines down over time and things will fall into place. Do your research and be your own advocate! You must speak up even though it can be hard to bring attention to yourself. For example, at work I have to have my cubicle modified so I don't have allergic reactions. It draws attention to me and maybe not the type of attention I'd like at work (as explaining skin issues can get intimate real fast), but I try to look at the upside: it gives me an opportunity to have a "real" conversation with my co-workers and get to know them a little better too. We just have to look for the silver linings ;-)
It's that time of year... time to pull your coats out of the closet, dust off your boots and enjoy the fresh brisk air we call autumn :-) It's time for baked banana breads, cozy socks and wrapping a big fluffy blanket around yourself. I love fall!
For the summer, I love love love dresses. Since I'm restricted to cotton, searching for items can be a challenge. Dresses are an easy find when it comes to cotton... casual dresses anyways. Not only that, but dresses are convenient as they're an instant outfit and they're comfortable at the same time.
However, as the weather gets cooler it's time to leave those dresses in my closet and focus on pants!
Here are the top picks from my latest search (click the image to view product page):
Are there any nickel free razors out there? How do I shave my legs without getting a rash?
SIGH. I wish I had a perfect solution to this. I haven't used a "normal" razor in...well, it's been years at this point....wow, just realized that! This is actually why I'm petitioning companies to make a nickel-free razor. I've been told that without nickel, the razors wouldn't hold up. I find that hard to believe, though. I'm not saying I was lied to, but I think there must be some way to make metal sharp/durable enough without using nickel. If this hypothetical razor has to be replaced more often, I'd be ok with that even though it's not ideal. At least I'd have the option to do a smooth shave!
Here are some other options (I've tried most):
- Using a nickel-free electric razor. Panasonic makes some, which I use. Here's a link to that blog post.
- Getting waxed. The downside to this is that it's expensive, painful, and you have to let the hair grow out in between waxings.
- Using an epilator. This looks like an electric razor, but instead of blades, it has these weird looking metal wheel-looking things. Essentially what the wheel things do is grab onto your hairs and pulls them out. It's like reeeeeeally slow waxing and it's also painful. Eventually you go kinda numb, but I wasn't a fan. I had to put on a movie to watch to bide my time and give myself something to focus on while I slowly ripped out each hair. It works, but after that experience, I felt like waxing would be a better option since it's faster and therefore less painful.
- Laser hair removal. Sigh. I've been told not to do this by my dermatologist as my skin is overly sensitive. I'm really getting to the point, though, where when I think about laser hair removal, I want to get a test patch done. This whole hair removal thing is such a pain in my butt that it would be nice to not even have to think about it. I do have a friend who had it done on her legs and she couldn't recommend it more. Do some research on your local medspas before you settle on one. You can also go to the dermatologist for this service, but insurance won't cover it since laser hair removal is not considered necessary for your health. It's more cost affordable to go to a good medspa, anyways.
- Products like Nair... you know, those weird creams that essentially dissolve your leg hair. I won't go near these products because of how severe they are to our skin. I used it once in high school and it looked like my skin had been lightly burned. Not cool.
- Buffing mitts. I'm sure you've seen those weird sand paper-like sleeves that claim to buff the hair right off. I also tried this back in high school... and hated it. It hurt! No sand paper for me, thank you!
So, right now what I do is use my electric razors and if I'm planning on going on a vacation where I'll be in a swimsuit, I make an appointment to get waxed.
Hopefully one day, there will be a better solution for people who are allergic to nickel!
God luck - I hope this helps!
I'm allergic to my car too! I also get eczema on my arms if I rest them on the door or center console. Now that I commute by train, most of that eczema is gone... an added plus to commuting! I'm glad that the bleach bath works for you. I often see that listed as a treatment that people use, but have always been to afraid to try it! And aaaah yes... the propylene glycol struggle - it's a tough one! It's in eeeeverything. Cheers to you finding some ways to help banish the eczema that pops up, though. Good luck in your journey and thanks for sharing your story!
Click here to submit your story!
For more eczema stories, click here.
For more allergy stories, click here.
Hives are something I've heard about since I was little. While it's nothing new to me, I never really researched exactly what it was. My skin has had so many different types of allergic reactions that I figured some were definitely hives at some point.
Hives are also known as wheals or urticaria. About 20% of the population experience hives in their lifetime - women are twice as likely. So what are they exactly? Hives are a skin reaction that result in spongy welts that can be red, white or the color of your skin. It can spread and is capable of happening pretty much anywhere on your body. Hives do tend to avoid the palms of hands and the bottoms of feet, though.
This skin reaction can be:
- different shapes:
- ring shaped
- random shape
- different sizes from a couple spots to large blotches
- fading in and out throughout the reaction
"About Health" does a great job explaining exactly why hives occur:
The thing about hives is that they can happen for a large variety of reasons... that's exactly why some people never figure out the root of their problem. I believe that any hives I've had are a result of allergies or water. I have so many skin allergies that it only makes sense that some of my hives have been from allergies. And I often get hives fresh out of the shower. There must be something about what's in the water or the heat of the water.
Possible causes/triggers of hives:
- allergies (the most common)
- thyroid disease
- hay fever
- pain medication
- excessive heat or cold
- exercise / sweating
- animal dander
- preservatives / additives
- prolonged pressure on the skin
- high humidity
- avoiding hot water
- avoid aggravating the affected area
- a doctor may prescribe an epi-pen or steroids
While in most cases, hives disappear on their own and are considered harmless, they can also be a sign of something more serious. If your throat starts to swell or the hives last more than 48 hours, it's advised that you seek a doctor.