Hello Everyone....I think I posted here about a year ago when my travels on the long road of skin allergies took a wrong turn! I've always struggled with allergies....in my early teens (and before) I started to become allergic to suncreens, they all brought me out in a rash. Then oranges (rash again), then ginger and paracetamol which made me sick. Then I began to be allergic to all sunscreens - nothing seemed to work. Then I got eczema, then psoriasis. Then Polymorphic Light Eruption (broadly speaking, an allergy to the rays of the sun). I went to the Dermo when I was 22 and was given a specialist sunscreen and told about the Polymorphic. Last year (3 years on) I became allergic to that sunscreen too.
In the meantime other developments were taking place! I kept getting thrush (like every month!), I was very run down and so averaged a cold and chest infection almost monthly. I managed to claw back my immune system to an extent but instead got two bad bouts of cystitis and then some more chest infections! I sense that this is all connected...I'm sure the immune system must play a large role in skin health.
Anyway, I went on a trip to London and came back with Allergic Conjunctivitis. Suddenly my dermographia (which had always been present to an extent) went into overdrive. Also, a chronic idiopathic urticaria and pressure urticaria developed and was/is rampant. I've tried loratadine, cetirizine, atarax and Telfast 180. The latter has worked best for me so far but it's still wearing off towards the evening so I'm now on Telfast in the morning and then a little bit of Atarax in the evening so I can sleep.
Having pressed them for a referral for patch testing, I finally had that appointment last week. And guess what - some more allergies!!! I'm allergic to nickel - that patch was hideously itchy and looked awful. I'm also allergic to cinnamon/cinnamates/cinnamol and benzoic acid or sodium benzoate, as it's also known.
What I'm really hoping is that there is someone out there in a similar situation. I've been told to cut out the cinnamon and related stuff, the sodium benzoate and the nickel. This, as it turns out, is going to be something of a lifestyle change for me. No more sweets, cakes, biscuits, (all my favourites!) fizzy drinks, bubble bath, chewing gum, costume jewellery, blah, blah, blah. The list is seriously endless. I went shopping today with my boyfriend to replace the personal/bath/shower items that I had to give away. I think it was only then, when he was helping me choose new items, that the enormity of the situation sunk in for him. Cinnamon and Sodium benzoate is in EVERYTHING!!!! When food shopping for me he had to put back everything that said either 'flavourings' or 'preservatives' on it. Also, anything with E210-E219 inclusive is a no-no now too.
Can anyone give me some advice on what to do next? Where's best to shop? Where can I get nice body products? Who makes chocolate that I can eat!!! How can I manage all these changes? Everything seems so expensive now. My favourite thing is a lovely long bubble bath - the only bubble bath I found without sodium benzoate in it was E45 bath oil.....no bubbles, no pretty scent.
Well, hey - at least this will clean up my diet! I'll be properly healthy with all these changes! Thank the lord I'm not into ready meals! Hopefully I'll soon have lovely, itch free skin.
Although the derm warned me not to get hopeful - that my urticaria may still remain unresolved....here's hoping she's wrong!
I'd love to hear from any of you - whether you can offer me advice, or whether we can share solutions, offer a shoulder, whatever......