Allergy to Rosin, Nickel, Cobalt and Budesonide

I a mom if three beatiful children, my oldest daughter is allergic to rosin (colophony), nickel, cobalt and budesonide. Her two more agressive allergies are rosin and nickel. She has very severe contact dermatitis. The hardest part of this journey was 6 years ago when she was 9 years old. Her legs started developing a rash, that soon became infected huge blisters oozing and bleeding. The first doctor said she had a atopic dermatitis and gave her corticosteroid that didnt make anything better. Things were getting worst, the rash was all over her shins, she was sent by her pediatrician to the ER were tgey treated her for MRSA (that at the end was negative) with very strong antibiotic called clyndamicin. We were sent back home.

After going repeatedly to the same pediatrician and not getting any different answers, we decided to try a new one. As soon as i went to the new dr, she sent mu daughter again to ER because st this point the rash was spreading to her back and face. She was admitted to the hospital and treated for staph and severe dermititis with efusion. She was on IV antibiotics for 5 days, and everyday she was take to a stainless steel bath tub where they did bleach baths and after that covered her in topical medicines and covered her whole legs with bandages. During her time at the hospital they tested her for diferent things for example Lupus and Celiac Disease they all came negative. It was a very frustrating time. She also received life coaching becuase at this point all this uncertainty was afecting her so much in her confidense and trust. During her stay her legs did get better and we were hoping that was the end of it. But as soon as we got home the nightmare started again. I decided to start sending her pictures to research facilities in mayor hospitals like john hopkings hoping someone would have an answer. I was told she had numular excema and that she would have to learn coping strategies since she would allways have this horrible disfiguring rash.

After maybe 6 months of this struggling our pediatrician sent us to a dermatologist that gave her a T.R.U.E patch test, there she tested positive for rosin, nickel, cobalt and budesonide. We went home and took all school uniform blue socks and put them in the garbage, got white socks instead, we met with the school to cover all metal chairs that she used so she would not have contact with nickel, shenhad to sit out playground time becuase the rubber mulch in the playground might have contained rosin. After all this efforts NOTHING changed. The rash was still there oozing and bleeding. Summer came and we went on a trip to our native country in South America for one month. There finally the rash disapeared. We were finally getting over this nightmare. But then ofcourse we started to think there was an allergy to something in the air of our city were we live, maybe a plant or a type of pollen. We really considered moving back to South America. After all, what we wanted was our daughter’s health back and it seemed it was only possible there.

So we came back to Miami ready to pack our stuff, but i told my husband “before we leave lets make sure were are not packing the allergen with us”. We decided to empty our house completely and just like when you start a baby with solid food, introduce one thing at a time. So we were left with one bed for all 5 of us and nothing else. We ate in the floor and the rest was open space. We brought in one piece of furniture every three days. And finally the culprit showed up! It was the kitchen stools i had bought a year before from a major store. It never occured to me that this could be the problem, specially becuase they were leather stools. Well when i did resaerch on the stools materials i found out that leather is treated sometimes wit abietic acid (another name for colophony or rosin). And then just like that she finally started getting better. Slowly she regained her confidence and life was beatiful for her again. (It is amazing how hard for a little girl it can be to have uncertainty about your health and to not be able to wear shorts or play at park with out worries.)

Years have passed since then and we have completely ignored the fact that rosin is not her only allergy even though is the worst one. Two years ago we had another long episode of uncertainty when she started to wake up often with her eyes swollen shut and her legs full of blisters again. Of course detective mom to the rescue! We tried to figure out were she was being exposed to rosin but we couldnt pin point it. Again we were referred to a rheumatologist who looked for different autoimune disease like Lupus that sometimes manifest with these bad rashes. Again all was negative. So we were back at square one. Looking for the source! Not an easy task. And finally we found it! My daughter is a ballet dancer and that year she had started dancing pointe. Well it turns out dancers use rosin on their shoes to have grip and not slip. There you go again rosin the culprit!

And again we where faced with the decition of giving up on dreams of being a dancer and find somethibg else to do, only that i am not one that gives up easily. So after long research hours i found a man that makes synthetic rosin for string instruments, contacted him and he is now selling rosin to us. We provide the dynthetic rosin for all of the dancers at the school. This is the only way we can be sure she will not be exposed. I hope this person will allways be available to sell us the rosin, he really does not produce rosin for dancers i buy ut directly from him. We are forever thankfull of him because thanks to his creation my daughter can still dance.

My daughter is now 13 years old and most of the time she has no rashes but they do appear every so often so we decided to go back to the dermatologist and get tested again. This time her patch test included 126 reactives. And again her results were the same nickel, rosin, cobalt, and budesonide. The dr. says her ocassional rashes are most likely from the constant nickel exposure, so know we need to take care of thAt. For now i have ordered the nickel tester and im waiting for it. Also looking for an alternative to hair removal because shaving has nickel and wax has rosin. Not many options left. It is very difficult to completely avoid this allergens but we try our best everyday.

My heart goes out to all the ones that suffer without an answer. Hang in there and be proactive!!! Answers might be hard to find but they exist. We are so thankfull that at least we now know what to avoid. Everyday is a new adventure. Im thinking that by this time next week i will be testig my whole house for nickel. Wish us luck!
M.H.

Wow, best of luck to you! I wish I could send you all the luck in the world! Looking for the culprit can be SUCH a long and rough test of one's patience... hats off to you for figuring it out time and time again! Finding the culprit is such a great feeling... it's definitely worth all of the detective work. Your daughter is lucky to have such a committed mother! As far as hair removal, maybe she could try products like Nair or think about laser hair removal...

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