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Preview: Ask MetaFilter questions tagged with allergies

Ask MetaFilter questions tagged with allergies

Questions tagged with 'allergies' at Ask MetaFilter.

Published: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:38:05 -0800

Last Build Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:38:05 -0800


Please help me pick an air purifier so I can survive in my new home.

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:38:05 -0800

I recently bought a condo, and have been suffering from allergies, most likely due to dust mites, since then. It's getting worse and my quality of life is suffering, as I can't breath, sneeze often and am always tired. I'm looking for an air purifier but there are so many choices and features to choose from that I'm overwhelmed. I'm pretty sure the offending particles are dust. About 4 years ago I lived in a different home and had similar symptoms and had testing done. While I had several allergies, the reaction to dust mites was off the charts (high). When I moved from that place to another apartment with all hardwood floors, the allergies went away. The new place I live has all hardwood floors too, but there is visibly a lot more dust here. Dust appears soon after I remove it.

My budget isn't huge--maybe $400 or under. It would have to be portable so I can move it from the bedroom to the living room (both pretty large rooms) as needed. I've seen another question about this in 2015 but there was no resolution.

Any experience or knowledge about air purifiers would be appreciated. The terms like HEPA, Medical Grade, VOC, etc. are so confusing. Thanks

Thanks, but no thanks!

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 10:11:38 -0800

How do folks with food intolerances and allergies navigate dinner parties? For the next month or so I will be on a very restricted diet for reasons diagnosed by my physician. The foods I can't eat appear random (no mint, no garlic, no deli meat, no citrus, no dairy etc.) but I've navigated some core meals that I can eat and enjoy. The problem arises when I go to a friend's for dinner. They very kindly want to provide a meal for me, which I appreciate, but the restrictions are very difficult to navigate. Thus far folks have insisted on feeding me saying that they will follow the food restrictions only for me to show up and they haven't at all, and I've as a result, become quite ill. I've started just saying I'll bring my own dish - which people will have none of.

I know this is not a unique issue - some people live with lifelong debilitating food allergies and intolerances. My issue is transient. How do you navigate these situations respectfully?

Assume eating out isn't an option in these scenarios.

Make a room feel / become warmer?

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 21:01:01 -0800

There's a very cold room in my house that I'd like to "warm up", both literally and psychologically. Can I do this without adding lots of textiles that will cause allergies? I love the look of rugs and drapes, but I have pets, and I find that textiles- especially rugs- get too furry and allergic. What kind of floor covering and other items can I use to create a cozy, soft, warm feeling in the room?

Wheat/dairy/egg/nut-free cake? Is this a thing?

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:24:16 -0800

My darling nephew is turning one and I would like to make him a cake or other dessert food amenable to a candle and one-year-old activities like smushing and perhaps even getting some in his mouth. Difficulty level: he has all the allergies. My nephew has tested positive for a range of allergies, and while it's likely that he'll grow out of or easily tolerate some of them, I am strongly averse to triggering a reaction on his birthday (or any other day). What can I make for him that does not have:


I see all sorts of recipes with varying reviews online, but I don't know enough about baking to evaluate them and I'm feeling overwhelmed. I am wondering if Mefites have any recipe recommendations for a cake or other celebratory dessert type thing? I am in NYC with access to well-stocked groceries and specialty stores.

Thank you so much for any suggestions!

Bonus Q: What is your favorite brand of wheat-free flour?

Conan! What is good in Cincinnati?

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 19:26:35 -0800

Hey MeFi! I'm going to be in Cincinnati shortly and am a bit of a snowflake as you may know from my prior asks. It's going to be a short trip but I'm not at all familiar with the area. Under the cut for more, any advice appreciated. Food: no gluten, no soy, no fish. Cool foods I can't get in other areas appreciated strongly - in a prior ask someone directed me to the Basque food in Boise, and I loved it. I like Indian, Ethiopian, Mexican, South and Central American, and I love hippie cafes where the recipes seem to have been made up by stoners and then tested on a sober person. What's good?

Tea: where is a nice place to sit around and drink some tea and maybe get work done? Bonus for LGBT owned/run/friendly, tea rooms, punk rock, or electronic music. Minus for places with heavy folk or British Invasion rotation. Coffee shops with a decent tea selection are fine, though if the place knows that not all tea steeps at the same temperature that's preferable.

I'm always interested in local spots that carry zines or cool local museums.

I will have a car and a navigation app. I have a minor mobility disability that means no hiking and I avoid stairs when possible. I will be spending the night before in Yellow Springs.


Any real connection between seasonal allergies & inflammatory diseases?

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:05:49 -0800

I have bad seasonal allergies, and I live in Austin, where there is literally no time when at least one allergen is not peaking. I also have stage 3 endometriosis, with lesions all over my uterus, ureter, bladder, and probably pouch of Douglas. (It's as fun as it sounds.) I was traveling this weekend and had almost no allergy symptoms and my endo pain was a lot better, too. Is it possible that allergies could increase the endo inflammation? When I try to research this I get a LOT of complementary medicine articles and general "anti-inflammatory diet" stuff, which doesn't have any scientific backing. Are allergies and inflammatory diseases like endometriosis even the same kind of inflammation? Is there any possible correlation here? Or is it just that one kind of feeling bad makes the other bad feeling worse?

Flavor Combination Conundrum

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:37:32 -0800

As one who is prone to eating ruts, while possessing negative integers of culinary skills in any form (think, 'banned from my Italian grandmother's kitchen, after being deemed "a disgrace to my heritage"- level ineptitude'); I am in need of flavorful ideas from the trusty Hive Mind, please. Rigid preferences inside, because this beggar is choosy as all hell, but for very valid reasons! Currently, I find myself hopelessly enamored of salads, and coleslaw. So much so, I am actually eating coleslaw for breakfast as I type, and this particular batch is already nearly gone. Ultimately, my hope is to glean flavor suggestions that will work for both salads and coleslaw interchangeably, while adhering to a stringent five-ingredient recipe:

salad/coleslaw base + fruit-flavored vinaigrette dressing + fresh fruits/berries + nuts/seeds + dried fruits

e.g. classic coleslaw mix + pomegranate vinaigrette + Granny Smith apples + honey roasted pecans + Craisins = breakfast of this champion! :D

Salad can be any sort of greens EXCEPT KALE. Spring Mix has been my default go-to. Coleslaw can be a standard mix of red cabbage, white cabbage, and carrots. Willing to try Asian-style slaws, but prefer classic slaw in general.

Vinaigrette dressings must be fruity, whether sweet or tangy. Nothing savory, please.

Fresh fruits/berries can be anything but mango, avocado, passion fruit, juniper, and goji. Because, allergies. KALE, I am still glaring at you.

Any nuts/seeds are welcome but they must be sugared, candied, glazed, caramelized, honey roasted, fruit flavor infused, or otherwise sweetened somehow where possible. Please nothing yogurt-coated, savory, or wasabi flavored.

Dried fruits of any kind (aside from allergens above, obvs) are welcome. So far, I have tried incorporating original Craisins or pomegranate-infused Craisins, because I am a madcap like that. Heh!

When I try to come up with other combinations of ingredients, I get stymied. Which nuts would pair with that fresh fruit? Do I stick with single-flavor themes, or brave contrasting/complementary tastes? What the heck else goes with pomegranate?? Why is this so daunting to me??? <-------- Uhm, rhetorical.

Many warm thanks in advance, so very grateful to have this community to consult. Please MeMail any questions, I am also allergic to consequences of threadsitting. ;)

My new loveseat is trying to kill me.

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 07:01:51 -0800

Bought used, upon delivery noticed a chemical smell. Whenever I sit on it I end up breaking out in hives. What could be causing it and how do I fix it? Got this awesome used loveseat that I didn't realize stinks like chemicals and makes me break out badly. I assume the smell is from the previous owner's efforts at cleaning. I don't own a steam cleaner, and I'm wondering if there is a way to solve this problem without renting one.

Why have my colds started to turn into months of post-nasal drip?

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 07:35:47 -0800

For the past two years, I have been getting colds that turn into months of thick, sticky mucus dripping down my throat from the back of my nose. For all of my lifelong nasal problems, this one is new. A complicating factor is that I moved across the country to an infamously polluted West Coast city in the midst of the first of these episodes, although later experience shows that they are not limited to my new place of residence. Please help me figure out any details or patterns that I’m missing. Have you ever experienced anything similar? Two weeks ago, while visiting family in VA, I caught a cold. The main symptoms abated after a week, at which point I still had a cough producing yellow phlegm and was blowing the same material out of my nose. Another five days or so, and that went away. Now I am left with an exceedingly annoying sensation of occasional post-nasal drip. This can occur at any time/place, but it seems to be exacerbated by eating or drinking anything (even a glass of water), taking a shower, or engaging in any kind of physical activity. When it happens, I become aware of a feeling of congestion behind my nose (my nasopharynx?), after which this stuff starts to slide down my throat. It is often so thick and sticky that I am unable to swallow it without washing it down with several gulps of water. It starts during or immediately after these activities, and abates after about 15 minutes. It seems to be at its worst when I do any of these things in the morning, although some days are worse than others in terms of the volume of mucus. When I bring it up, it is clear. None of this would seem particularly noteworthy to me were it not for the fact that this has started to happen after my colds very abruptly. Two years ago, around this time of year, I caught a cold, which turned into months of the same post-nasal drip. I was then in the midst of a move from the Northeast to California, so when the symptoms persisted in CA, I thought I was allergic to something local. They got better over the course of several months, although the various medications I tried (Claritin, Allegra, Flonase, Mucinex) didn’t seem to do anything, and Sudafed with pseudoephedrine seems to dry things up for the most part but doesn’t seem like a viable long-term solution. I have been to my doctor several times about this. At first he thought it might be lingering infection and recommended sinus rinsing and Flonase. This didn’t help much in the short term, but over the course of months, the drip went away. When I went to my doctor after the second time this happened (about a year after the firs time), he said it sounded like allergies, prescribed a new nasal spray (Dymista), recommended sinus rinsing, and gave me a referral to an allergist. The allergist confirmed that my nose looked allergic and scheduled allergy testing. The results of that show that I am likely allergic to dust mites and several types of grass and tree pollen. This makes sense, as I’ve had some kind of allergies my whole life. At times, I have had almost constant rhinitis, sneezing, and post-nasal drip, but what I am experiencing now seems very different—the persistent post-nasal drip for a month or two following a cold is new. Furthermore, seemingly complicating the idea that it is a dust mite allergy is the fact that I wake up with a totally clear nose and no mucus. It only gets worse when I get up and start moving around (having breakfast, taking a shower, etc.). When I first got this, I particularly noticed the drip after eating, and googling this symptom led me to read a great deal about laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), which in turn led me to reading a bunch of desperate-sounding accounts of people who had tried every medication imaginable and had found no relief. This made me anxious (and this anxiety was no doubt compounded by my cross-[...]

Vegan meals that are nut-free?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:44:29 -0800

Hello. I have a dear friend that will be visiting and she is sensitive to nuts and identifies as a vegan solely. I am wondering if there are vegan dishes to make that are nut free and filling? She said she can eat hemp seeds and sesame seeds; if that contributes to anything. I am sensitive to certain pastas, so we will have to balance out what will work out for the two of us. Any filling recipes to make? Perhaps something with avocado and a spiralizer machine to make things? Beans? Tacos? Tofu? Any ideas would be heavily appreciated. Thank-you!

Please help me figure out why my dog is so itchy?

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 06:53:13 -0800

My dog is scratching herself like crazy and I can't figure out why. I took her to the vet but they had no answers aside from theorizing that she's allergic to something she is laying down on, because it's her undercarriage that seems to be itchiest (along with her legs). The only other clue is that this happened the previous two years as well, around this time of summer. So it's seasonal and it's localized in her tummy/chest and legs. There's nothing unusual in her environment - same old hardwood floors, rugs, and lawn that she always hangs out on. And there are no fleas. Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this? She's so uncomfortable.

Calling Dr House...

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 03:38:14 -0800

Please help solve a medical mystery. My four year old daughter has started vomiting about half an hour after eating. Initially I thought it was a stomach bug (which she had three weeks previously) but she has no other symptoms. Before the gastro she also had bad bronchitis (winter in Australia) which was treated by antibiotics. So the vomiting has been going on for two weeks, maybe three, now. Initially we thought it was because she was gorging her food or leftover from the gastro she had previously but now I think it's something else. Our local doctor has tested a stool sample for giardia and other exotic bugs and come up with nothing. She doesn't have diarrhoea, headaches, fever, congestion, stomach pain or anything else. She does have eczema (she's always had that) but it is much worse now.

So, what sets it off? I was leaning towards lactose intolerance as when I first noticed, it occurred straight after ice cream and hot chocolate, so we cut out milk products. (These are occasional treats so we weren't making the connection that there could have been a trigger there for a week or two.)

Eggs, toast and condiments in the morning don't set her off. Fruit, plain vegetables and sandwiches or wraps with salad are fine (large portions of her diet). Dinner is more of an issue. We went out for Chinese (mostly dumplings, no soy sauce or dairy) and that triggered it. For lunch she had sushi with tuna and avocado and for dinner she had veal tortellini (no sauce) and that triggered it.

When she vomits, it occurs about half an hour after. She doesn't completely purge her stomach, it's more like a baby's reflux, mainly saliva with a small amount of stomach contents, say 20ml, and she'll do this about six times.

I saw the doctor a few days ago - when I still thought it was lactose intolerance - and he has referred me to a pediatrician but I won't get to see them for another three weeks. I'm keeping a food diary now but I'm completely flummoxed and Dr Google, as to be expected, is throwing out all the scary things, celiacs, lactose intolerance, crohns, heck, brain tumours!

I'm sure this coming doctor will test for all sorts of things but in the meantime, does anyone have any ideas? I'm now thinking a food allergy of some sort, I'm even leaning towards the antibiotics we gave her might have upset her stomach flora and be causing this, even though I have her probiotics religiously at the time, but I just don't know. After tonight, I'm going to give her an even blander diet and see if that helps.

What's going on with my eyes?

Tue, 23 May 2017 06:35:38 -0800

YANMD, and I've got an appointment but in the meantime: Why are my eyes very swollen, but not red, not painful, not crusty, not itchy, etc. My vision (which isn't great to start with) doesn't seem any different. So what could cause my eyes to be very swollen like someone punched me, but with no other symptoms? I had a cold or light flu about 10 days ago, and I definitely have had trouble completely getting rid of the stuffy nose part. It's about a 2 on a scale of 1-10, occasionally flaring up to an 8.

But the end of my cold also coincided with warmer weather, which may have triggered my very, very light adult-onset allergies. I categorize my allergies as a 2 on a scale of 1-10, which means that though I go through periods of nasal stuffiness, it never rises to the level of taking any kind of medication. In most years, it's just something I notice, shrug about, and then move on.

So I don't know if my stuffy nose is about a lingering cold, or just allergies.

Back to my eyes: they're definitely getting a bit worse each day (which is why I finally made a doc appointment). One friend had told me to wash my eyelids with special "eyelid wash wipes" from the drugstore. Tried that for the last couple of days, without any difference.

Googling about swollen eyes only shows me problems that always come along with pain, crustiness, weeping, etc.


Alternatives to Claritin

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 21:48:36 -0800

My eyes are burning and tearing and spasming, which I am pretty sure is due to seasonal allergies. I do not want to take Claritin/Loratadine, as during the two weeks I was just taking it, I noticed I was uncharacteristically impatient and irritated at everyone and everything. Other ideas, especially from people who had a bad reaction to Loratadine? I wear contacts lenses, which also makes eyedrops a problem, I think?

Should I get a cat? A question from the formerly (?) cat-averse

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 17:55:26 -0800

I've never ever wanted a cat until about a month ago, but now I can't stop thinking about it. My husband likes them, my kid adores them, and I'm pretty sure I'm allergic. Should we try fostering a cat to see how it goes? Or just take the plunge? I am distrusting my cat interest because it seems ridiculously like my earlier urge to get pregnant: hormonal and illogical. But we aren't having more kids, I just love the idea of my cat-smitten 4 year old growing up with a little feline creature, and I think it would make our home feel more complete. I'm willing to take Claritin/eye drops and vacuum more, but I've never had a cat before and don't know how much grossness I'm willing to sign up for (my kid is potty trained, and I have enjoyed the last few relatively poop-free years). What should I know about cats as someone who previously distrusted them and generally never saw the point of having one?

I know the standard metafilter answer to the "should I get a cat?" question is "yes, and you should get two of them." But I haven't read about cat-related changes of heart, so please let me know if I should let this wave of cat craving crest and subside.

(We stopped by the humane society today to see how our kid would do, and I can't tell if the itchiness in my eyes and throat are due to large quantities of cats and/or multitudes of bunnies - it was bunny socialization afternoon. But the kid was so happy.)

Need help finding the guilty ingredient in a body wash.

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:14:10 -0800

My little girl tried Trader Joe's Formula No. 3 "All For One, One For All" shampoo/conditioner/body wash last night. Almost immediately, her skin started itching. Can you help me narrow down the suspect ingredients? Ingredients can be seen in the image on Amazon.

She also gets contact dermatitis from plastic, but not fabric, bandages. Because she tested negative for a latex allergy, we're guessing it's the adhesive.

Prepare for pollen season

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:16:52 -0800

In Atlanta, the trees vomit pollen all spring. How do I avoid severe allergic reactions? I am allergic to pollen. In Atlanta, everything is coated with a thin film of yellow pollen starting in March. It coats cars and everything outdoors; somehow, it got all over my floor last year. How do I keep my home and myself as pollen-free as possible? What steps can I take in advance?

Allergies - Help!

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:39:38 -0800

Since last year I have allergies, probably to some sort of tree or pollen because they play up in spring and autumn. I've had a number of blood tests that have ruled out several allergens but haven't yet zeroed in on the one(s) causing the problem. I take antihistimines, a nasal steroid spray and I have an inhaler for when they flare up but I still feel crappy all the time. The antihistimines make me tired, even the new kind but sometimes I have to take one to get through the day. Even when I don't take them I feel pretty lousy all the time when the allergies are flaring up.

Fellow allergy sufferers, please share with me your tricks and tips for surviving!
(I have a dog but have been tested and he is not the cause.)

Gifted iPhone 5 reeks of cig smoke -- what to do?

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 21:56:11 -0800

What it says above -- I was recently given a free, older iPhone 5 and the previous owner was a smoker. I'm not crazy about the phone, but it was a thoughtful gift; however, the phone reeks of cigarette smoke. And I'm allergic. I've only had it a day and just holding the phone for a few minutes sets off sneezing fits, my bag now smells of smoke, my hands. Any ideas to rid the phone of the smell of cigarette smoke?
Put it in a bag of rice?
Some other absorbent substance that will not ruin the phone?

I'm not a sensitive snowflake, but this could really keep me from using this phone and the person who gave it to me sees me daily (and sees me using it to call an Uber, so it's not like I can hide another phone).

I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I can't use this phone if it continues
to smell of smoke. :(

Help, please!

Can I take beef jerky on a cruise?

Fri, 23 Dec 2016 07:32:03 -0800

That's pretty much the question. I'm going on a Caribbean cruise in a couple of days and have run recently into some food allergy issues. I'm pretty sure I can find something to eat most places most days without running into the five or six things I'm sensitive to (and I'm taking my epi pen), but just in case I wanted to take a little bit of beef jerky along maybe some nuts. Is the cruise going to say hell no or customs or something? I have it sealed from the store it's not like it's homemade.

For my next trip, I will be visiting Iron Mountain!

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:40:54 -0800

Hey MeFi! I have travel coming up in January to Iron Mountain, Michigan. I am a special snowflake while traveling and thus somewhat nervous about smaller cities, and this seems to be the smallest that work has ever sent me to by a lot. Please help me enjoy Iron Mountain! Details below the fold. I will be in Iron Mountain for about 24 hours. I will have a car. I have not booked a place to stay yet and if anyone has recommendations for places to stay or to avoid, that would be great.

Other stuff:

Food. I am a vegetarian with gluten and soy allergies. I need to be able to ask questions about what's in anything I eat. I do well with tacos, Indian food, and little hippie cafes. A quick yelp search did not leave me optimistic. Are there restaurants there that will be safe for me, or should I plan to hit a grocery store and cook? Where is a good local grocery store?

Tea. Is there a good place to get a cup of tea? Local is awesome, Starbucks or Caribou is fine.

Environs: what's cool to check out in January in Iron Mountain for a person who doesn't move around easily? Any museums or local art stuff? Should I know anything about social attitudes in the town or larger area? I am from the upper midwest and have lived in the northeast, so I know to be careful about winter. Are there moose in the area, or other wildlife concerns?

The Post Nasal Drip Blues

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 09:31:02 -0800

YANMD. Every year without fail, by late fall/early winter, I develop post nasal drip. It quickly leads to a sore throat and then weeks of laryngitis. Prescription and OTC drugs aren't helping. Once the post nasal drip (hereafter PND) turns into laryngitis, the laryngitis lasts for weeks. This is particularly tough on me as my job requires me to be on the phone for hours a day (email and non-phone work is not an option; I'm not seeking advice on how to cope with this at work- just advice on how to prevent or better treat the PND symptoms.)

I've seen my doctor about the PND several times, and after trying Nasonex and a few other nasal sprays and allergies meds, their advice is along the lines of 'shrug' or 'it is what it is'.

- Neti pots and other nasal irrigation tools, used sparingly, don't help me. It seems to provide about twenty minutes of relief and then we're back where we started, if not worse.

- Likewise, I haven't gotten much help from nasal sprays like Nasonex.

- When I see the first sign of PND, I start to avoid food and beverage that may worsen it. This includes anything that is acidic or a diuretic (coffee, tea, alcohol), high fat foods, dairy. It doesn't seem to lessen the symptoms but I'm assuming it prevents them from getting any worse.

- One year I used Zinc supplements to try to 'fight it off' and it seemed to keep it at bay, but then my friend pointed out that it clearly wasn't going away and I needed to just let it run its course. So I did and it was probably the worst sore throat I ever had.

- Lortadine (Claritin) is the med that has come closest to helping.

I am otherwise healthy (no sleep apnea, asthma, or other respiratory issues), get regular deep sleep seven hours a night, drink 2-4 liters of water a day depending on my activity level and sodium consumption, and get regular exercise. During the winter, I exercise indoors and not out in the cold. We have a dehumidifer at my current place that keeps it at 45-50% humidity. Any less than that and I get a dry cough. High humidity has been known to trigger my migraines.

Are there non-pharmaceutical solutions I could be using to prevent or better alleviate PND?
Other points I should be discussing with my doctor?
Reasons I may be prone to PND?
What has helped you with this?

Seeking short term solutions to second hand smoke from 24hr chain smoker

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 04:25:48 -0800

My new neighbors are chain smokers who smoke right outside my bedroom windows. The weather in our neighborhood has been especially nice lately, so they're out on their patio more often to smoke multiple cigarettes over an hour. The second hand smoke is really affecting me now. I have a super important interview on Tuesday. What can I do to reduce the earache, cough, and dry eyes caused by the smoke? Heavy duty air filters have been running in my room and elsewhere since Friday. Earache and cough started the same day after I opened my window to get fresh air and instead treated myself to a sizeable dose of smoke that had drifted up to my room from my neighbors' patio. (4 people were chain smoking out there that morning and afternoon.) DayQuil helps a lot during the day, but NyQuil isn't working its magic so I can sleep at night without waking up to cough or put a damp washcloth over my eyes to stop the itching. Right now I've been up since 2am because they came back outside to smoke around the same time. Keeping my windows tightly shut doesn't stem the flow of smoke at all, and Benadryl/Zyrtec aren't doing much either..

I can't address the chain smoking with the neighbors or our HOA for a while because of Reasons. Obviously things have to change asap. However, the more pressing issue is that I have an interview this week that is the most important interview ever, and I can't miss it.

How do I cope in the interim so I can go to my interview (whether it's still on Tuesday or moved to another day this week) and not be totally inundated by sleeplessness/shortness of breath due to this new and very disruptive addition to my life? Is it inhaler time? I have 20 hours ish to try and mitigate my symptoms and I know that's stupid but it is what it is. :(

Thanks for your help and/or commiseration.

Itch attacks are taking over. Help me figure this out!

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:41:08 -0800

Please help me figure out what's causing incessant itching and how to control it. Several times a week, I experience intense itchiness on my body. Typically this occurs on my back, front, and legs.

Possible triggers: I notice that itching will often be triggered when I expose my skin to air; in the past, cold winter air would give me itchy welts on my cheeks, thighs, and bottom. This hasn't happened recently, but now the itch attacks occur when getting undressed in the evening, for example, when my skin is exposed for a minute or two.

Sometimes the itching will begin when I'm fully dressed, though. Usually my back is the first to start itching and then it spreads. My skin gets red with small bumps during this. It's almost a painful feeling. It feels like my body is on fire sometimes.

Photos of my skin during these attacks:





I'm allergic to dust, some types of mold, several trees, and furry pets. I have asthma. I'm on long term steroids for asthma, and temporarily on beta blockers for a thyroid issue. I haven't found an allergy pill that does a whole lot for these allergies.

This issue has typically been worse in winter (Minnesota winters, so very cold) but I've had countless itch attacks this past summer. Itching in general has been an on-and-off issue for many years. The only thing that brings relief is rubbing myself all over with one of those dry brushes meant for exfoliation. A derm once recommended a dry skin oil based body wash and a thick cream after. It helped some but he problem persists. Anyone have experience with this?

Help me buy the right deodorant for a sensitive, but powerful* person

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 19:53:17 -0800

I seem to be allergic to antiperspirants, but regular deodorant isn't strong enough to stop my powerful aura. What do similarly, uh, endowed people with sensitive skin do to be less of a nose-burden on the people around them? I used antiperspirant as a teenager but would get weird pains in my arm pits. I've used regular Old Spice for probably the better part of a decade, but I smelled like someone's dad at best, and by the end of the day I'd have kind of a funk going. Nothing so bad that I think I was emptying the office, but you know, if you notice yourself smelling bad, other people do too.

When I ran out of dad-oderant a couple weeks ago I finally gave in and bought antiperspirant. It was wonderful. No smell. I could even wear the same shirt two days in a row. (I mean, you know, theoretically.) But man did it make me itchy. Horribly itchy. Enough that I would wake up itchy in the middle of the night.

I've stopped using it and have been using my reserve deodorant, which is unfortunately (unfortunate for everyone involved) a natural brand that is supposed to work by the power of tea tree oil, but doesn't.

What can I do to firmly neutralize my BO without causing a really unpleasant allergic reaction?