Avoiding Plastic Pens, Highlighters, and Permanent Markers

Almost 2 years ago, when I went through the first big round of eliminating my allergens, I got very familiar with what my allergic reactions looked like. On my hands, it's always the bubbles. So, when I had some bubbles on the left side of my middle finger on my right hand, my quest began: What's causing this?? When you're trying to figure out exactly what it is that you're coming across on a regular basis which is causing you to react, you have to get borderline obsessive. Developing these allergies showed me how much I WASN'T paying attention to everything I was touching. "Normal" people just don't think about it. Many people would label you as a germaphobe or something like that. Those are the only sort of people avoiding touching every day items, right? WRONG.

For people like me who are allergic to nickel (I react like poison ivy) and plastic (my reaction is less and slower than my nickel allergy), we avoid touching a LOT of things.

One day, as I was sitting at work writing something down on a piece of paper - it dawned on me. My pens touch the SAME exact spot my eczema was occurring. So, what to do now? I searched and searched for some wooden pens and found some, but wasn't too excited about paying $4.99 a pen. Then I thought... tape! Wait, no... tape is plastic...

... But masking tape isn't!! :-) Allow me to introduce you to my writing utensil holder (which my awesome friend Megan gave to me - she made it!):

IMG_20130711_164000

I only buy retractable highlighters and permanent markers which allow me to get the tape very close to the bottom of the marker. It took me a while to figure that one out, so I was really happy when I did. For pens, I buy the plain Bic pens and leave the tops off. As you can see, I also tape up my scissors. The scissors are problematic, though, because the handles are so curvy and it makes it difficult for the tape to stay on and then y fingers get irritation from the adhesive on the tape. I'm going to try to go without on the scissors and see how it goes. if you're wondering why I tape the top of my pencils, it's to avoid the nickel ;-)

Do you have any tips to share in regard to avoiding the plastic on pens?