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Old 07-18-2012, 10:21 AM   #1
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Allergic to all sunscreen?

Grrr. Is anyone else allergic to every sunscreen they try? What do you do about it? I already have a hat, any other tricks?

 
Old 07-18-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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Re: Allergic to all sunscreen?

Stupid question time

Do you know the chemical(s) that are a problem.

I cannot use traditional sunscreens, but I use an organic that is chemical, dye, perfume free.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:23 PM   #3
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Re: Allergic to all sunscreen?

I have no idea.

I'm allergic to several sunscreens, including the fragrance-free ones, some but not all hair conditioners, hand sanitizer, regular laundry detergent, and most moisturizers. I use plain vaseline as a moisturizer, wash my clothes with "everything-free" detergent, wash my skin with Dove in the green package, clean my house with plain water, and don't use makeup or perfume.

I find that the stuff labeled "natural" doesn't help, because it has all kinds of crazy plant extracts. Chemicals usually just irritate my skin, plants provoke actual allergic rashes which can be even worse.

Worst of all, the past few years I've been having trouble with topical medicines, including hydrocortisone, which means I can't treat the rashes if they do crop up.

Lately I've been thinking about going to a dermatologist to find out exactly what the problem ingredients are, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. I'd have to do patch testing, which frightens me a bit, as the "positives" could get seriously out of control. And of course, I seem to develop new chemical allergies all the time, so the test results would soon be out of date.

 
Old 07-19-2012, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: Allergic to all sunscreen?

I understand the issue with MCS.

An immunologist would be who I would consult, many times they can narrow the problem. For me it was a common preservative in lotions etc.
depending on what you are hypersensitive to, they may be able to do desensitation treatments. It is a matter of getting ingredient lists for me.

Also the best anti itch remedy that I use is baking soda in water or glycerin.

The sunscreen I use it mineral, not chemicals or botanicals, think more baby powder than baby lotion.

Hope this helps
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: Allergic to all sunscreen?

I really feel for you, that's a terrible thing to live with! I have sensitive skin and lately I've been afraid for using sunscreen,however, I have used Origins A Perfect World SPF15 for almost a decade with no ill effects, plus Bare Minerals foundation SPF15 for longer than a decade. They say that it's not what you do on an occasional basis that will kill you, but what you do on an everyday basis that can kill you, so I guess I'll find out in another 20 years or so...

I am an ameteur nature photographer and gardener and I have SPF 50 clothing from REI, but you can find this sort of thing at many places online as well. I hope you find some answers soon!

 
Old 07-19-2012, 11:18 AM   #6
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Re: Allergic to all sunscreen?

I feel your pain! I have extremely sensitive, reactive skin. I always have. I went to a dermatologist to have a mole removed a couple years ago and they told me my skin was really sensitive.

I have to use Cetaphil face wash and moisturizer. Everything else seems to irritate my skin after a while. I have to use fragrance-free detergent. I recently started having trouble with the cleansing conditioner I was using and had to switch. I visited my in-laws in May and the detergent they used to wash the sheets on the bed gave me an itchy rash.

I'm not sure what exactly it is that bothers me, but I do seem to do better with organic brands. I have used Kiss My Face brand with little to no issue. (Their sunscreen, toner, shampoo and conditioner.)

I'm also extremely pale (half Irish) so sunscreen is a non-negotiable for me.

 
Old 07-19-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Re: Allergic to all sunscreen?

Well, I've read a bunch of labels, and all the sunscreens have many many inactive ingredients, other than the plain zinc oxide stuff. I don't understand why 20 ingredients are all necessary.

Guess I'm just going to rely on clothing, then. It's not terribly convenient for, say, kayaking, but most of the time it's not bad. Or maybe I will finally get around to talking to a dermatologist.

 
Old 08-27-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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Re: Allergic to all sunscreen?

Update: I finally did see a dermatologist. She recommended a brand called Vanicream, and it worked great! No reactions at all.

She also recommended patch testing, but I'm not quite willing to go through all that. It sounds MUCH worse than the skin testing that allergists do, since the entire process takes 4 days!

 
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