||[Feb. 21st, 2009|10:04 pm]
Mutiple Chemical Sensitivity
|||||Jason Mraz --- I'm Yours||]|
I have never been diagnosed with skin allergies/sensitivities, but I know for sure what I have. My grandma, mother, and two cousins have all been dx'ed as allergic to: artificial fragrance of any sort, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and formaldehyde. I have the exact same symptoms, from the same products, just not the fancy-schmancy insurance that will cover expensive allergy testing.
Why, oh why, is it so hard to find products that I am not allergic to? Currently, I do not wear makeup at all. I use mens' unscented (really actually unscented) shaving gel, expensive hippie-store shampoo, homemade (by a friend) conditioner, and plain lye/lard soap. I only wish this was enough, though! I'll go maybe a week and a half without a breakout, then I'm itching again. And it doesn't just stop at a bit of itchiness...it's a bumpy red rash that gets itchier as you scratch it. I can keep myself from scratching it open while I'm awake, but how do you stop your hands from doing their job while you sleep? I've tried petroleum jelly (to stop air from tickling the rash), I've tried bandages over it (to keep me from being able to scratch), I've even tried cutting my fingernails all the way down to the quick (OW. OW OW OW. NEVER AGAIN.), and I still end up with weeks of scabby arms and thighs and hips, and with blood spots on my clothing, and scars on the insides of my elbows, and with customers at work looking at me like i'm some kind of pox-ridden leper.
I hate my body for doing this to me, but at the same time, I know it's not my body's fault, after all my relatives have it too. I just wish there was something more than steroidal anti-itch cream that I could effectively use (not that the desoximetasone is particularly effective...it stops the itch as long as I haven't already scratched it within the past two hours. eyeroll.), so that I could stop itching all the time!
I'm also having a hell of a time getting my mother-in-law to quit using scented crap when I'm at her house. She seriously thinks that if the scent isn't strong, it's okay. Or, if it doesn't smell perfumey, it's okay (febreze, etc.). Or, my favorite, as long as she blows out the candle as I'm walking in the door...you get the picture.
I wonder if there are allergy shot type treatments for this? I don't even really know how allergy shots work. Do you get them a bunch and then wean off of them and not have allergies anymore, or do you have to keep getting them on a regular schedule to keep the allergies at bay? If the latter is true, are they more effective than otc allergy meds, at least?
Sigh. I just want to rip my arms off. I'll take pics of them next time they're flared up, for fun. How's that for something to look forward to?