Anyone with skin allergies?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tawnya, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    My pop is in the nursing home and having a hard time with a skin rash. They keep telling us that the rash is an allergic reaction to one of his medications. While this may be true, I keep wondering if he is allergic to the laundry soap I have been using. The whole rash is odd, though, because it only affects his upper body. It looks like little mosquite bites, so "rash" doesn't really fit the description.

    I know there are many dye free/fragrance free products out there, but is one better than the other?

    Just asking because I know there are many here that are affected by allergies and you all have great advice.


  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm not there but I doubt it's the medications or it would be all over due to the medications being in his bloodstream.

    I use ALL Free liquid detergent and Bounce Free dryer sheets because (of all things) my CAT is allergic to the dyes and perfumes. No smell.

    What is touching his upper body that is NOT touching the lower? And vice-versa?
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    TiredMommy has a post going on now about allergies -

    I have skin sensitivity to certain things, and keep Dreft around. It's mild and free from perfumes.

    Many ads claim that they are perfume and dye free - but the secret to me is in the double rinse on delicate things.

    Also - you have to take into consideration that your sheets, blankets and pillowcases are washed in ????

    I have a friend who is allergic to water - she can't take a shower without getting huge welts on her. So don't feel bad.....Hospitals really do not use "allergen" friendly soap and there is probably a lot of bleach used.

    Keep in mind - while in the shower - there is shampoo, conditioner, soap - the best soap for anyone with skin allergies according to our dermatologist is Dove - for sensitive skin (green cap) a good non-allergenic shampoo is Nutrogena.

    If it's an airborne allergy - you'll need a histamine blocker and my want to just get an MD to see his skin/rash - as it may be something nerve related, could be shingles - could be nothing - could be a food allergy too.

    Hard to tell - b ut you just have to start doing eliminations.

  4. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    Thanks for the fast reply!

    That's what I don't understand about the "rash". Wouldn't either one (medications or detergent) cause it to be everywhere?

    I'll get the soap you recommend, if nothing other than to rule that out.

    Thanks again.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This is not always true - often allergic reactions will only show up in certain areas, such as the trunk of the body as opposed to all over. Sometimes only one the face and scalp or sometimes only on the hands and feet. It does vary.

    Definitely look at detergents - is the nursing facility the ones who do his laundry? If so, what are they using and is his laundy being washed/dried alone or with other patients clothing? It may be detergent, or, it could be something he is coming in contact with from another patient. It could be a food allergy as well.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I would think that the detergent would cause it to be everywhere, but... Here's a thought. I am allergic to neomycin - which means no Neosporin ointment. If I put it on, say, my big toe... I get a rash all over my chest and upper arms. Nowhere else. So it may be extremely sensitive skin in that area...Or...maybe the medications exacerbate the sensitivity?

    Process of elimination I guess... What's new there? That could be it too.
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Also... look at a latex allergy if he has any sort of iv line, etc taped to his skin. Folks that are allergic to latex are often also allergic to poinsettias and bananas. My grandmother was allergic to latex... my aunt and I used to keep a non-latex medical tape in the house to bring with us if we needed to take Granny to the hospital to prevent any goof-ups. We also had to guard against old style sulfa drugs being given to her.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Also... not to scare you, but you may also want to consider a MRSA bacterial infection. The are becoming increasingly common in hospital-settings.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Skin allergies can be idiosyncratic, and show up only in certain places, as others have mentioned.

    I have sensitive skin, and lots of allergies. Typically, when I have a systemic reaction, I only get it in "high friction" places, such as creases of elbows, where my shirt collar rubs against my neck, under my bra band, etc.

    If, on the other hand, I'm having a contact reaction (e.g. allergic to laundry detergent), then I break out in hives wherever my skin is touched by the offending substance. On me, hives look like mini mosquito bites, but then they grow together into big welts. But, for that matter, so do mosquito bites.

    I agree with the others that a process of elimination would be the way to go.

    Did your dad start any new medications?
    Are they using lots of bleach or harsh detergents in the washing?
    Does your dad's stuff come into contact with anyone else's?
    Do any nursing staff wear perfume or lotion or anything, and then come in contact only with affected parts of your dad's body, e.g when changing a dressing?

    Keep an eye for signs of worsening as well.

    Hope you find answers soon.

  10. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    As jog and stepto2 were saying, drug rashes are pretty common, actually - not to say that's what he's got, but it really is an option, although it seems weird. :) Luckily, MRSA doesn't usually appear as a widespread rash, so it's hopefully not that.

    Here's a general article talking about the more common drug-allergy rashes, and where they appear:
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Just covering all bases and so proud of the quick and great answers here - we are such a smart group -

    but is it by any chance a target rash? Like Lymes disease would leave? Bullseye looking? Did he ever get bitten by a tick?

    Just throwing that out there - but had never thought of the latex/tape allergy - my Mom has that.
  12. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    Thanks for all of the info. I do his laundry, and I always wash it separately. However, I usually buy whatever soap is on sale. I am now armed with dye/perfume free soap, and I will start doing a second rinse only cycle and no dryer sheets. At least we can rule out the detergents that way.

    No new foods and no latex allergy. The only thing that has changed is some of his medications, mainly antibiotics for UTIs.
    My daughter is allergic to sulpha type drugs, and she will break out into a rash all over. It's a mystery so far.

    We put a request in for a dermatologist to come look at him to see if they can figure it out.

    Thanks again!
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Our allergist says that allergies to detergents, etc... frequently show up in some areas, but not in all of them. So it is a good idea to try the gentler detergents, etc...

    bounce, much as I love it, is apparently one of the WORST at leaving residue on clothing.

    We have had good luck with ALL Free and Cheer Free, not so much with Dreft. One of the kids, I think Jessie, reacted very very badly to dreft.

    For the last couple of years thank you and I have had such bad skin reactions to most laundry detergents that I have been making my own. We can use ALL Free or Cheer Free for a few weeks, then we ahve to change for a few weeks.

    I use the food processor to grate and then chop up 1 3oz (approx) bar of soap. then I add 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of WASHING SODA. If you have a 5-6 oz bar of soap then use 2 cups of the Borax and washing soda.

    To wash laundry I start the water and put 2 TABLESPOONS of the mixture into the water. I give it a minute to stir around, then add the clothes. I have the biggest washer I could get with-o getting a front loader machine. I don't add any softener in the washer.

    When I dry clothes I either cut the dryer strip in half (great chore to do while watching tv) or else I use a 4X4 (approx) piece of cloth to dip into watered down liquid fabric softener (like downy or snuggle). I water it 1 part softener to 1 part water. After I dip the cloth in I wring it out mostly. Toss it on top of the laundry and turn on the drier.

    These are both cheap and good for sensitive skin. You can use whatever brand of soap works for you. These are also much easier on the environment.

    What are you treating the rash with?

    Does he develop rashes or irritation where his skin rubs against itself? If this happens, or he has chafing anywhere, try the Monistat chafing relief cream (might be a gel, I forget). It is NOT a yeast infection treatment, it is a silicone based cream that helps keep the skin from getting irritated where it gets chafed. Just don't put it on over any existing rash or broken skin.

    I hope he feels better soon - rashes are no fun.