Unexpected Allergies

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I’ve been following the ‘why do people insist they’re allergic when’ thread on ravelry with some interest. It’s certainly enlightening seeing the various opinions talked through.

It’s fairly obvious on the thread and more generally that there can be confusion about what allergies are as opposed to ‘sensitivities’ or ‘intolerances’. The way it was explained to me recently by a hospital consultant, was that an intolerance causes an immediate reaction that subsides over time but an allergy is a reaction that builds up over time. I think that’s a gross over-simplification but I would need to read up a lot more before being sure.

Now for the irony. For years I’ve claimed allergy rather than intolerance to perfume/hairspray simply because the scent of most of them makes me start to sneeze or wheeze or occasionally feel extremely nauseous.  Recently, I had some patch tests done and it turns out that I _am_ allergic to a particular group of perfume chemicals that are used in pretty much every product on the market from perfume to shower gels, soaps, deodorants or washing powder and household products. Big big problem.

What’s more frustrating is the additional dye allergies that were discovered. I love purple, blue, black and all rich/bright tone colours. It turns out that I’m allergic to blue fabric dye, which is used commercially in some amount in all of these.  I’ve been advised to wear white/natural/light coloured animal/plant fibres.
The animal/plant fibre bit – no problem – I prefer them anyway. The colours? Sorry, but I refuse to wear them in public – not only do I hate pastels/pink with a passion only rivalled by my enthusiasm for knitting and sewing, but they do make me look like a washed out pregnant hippo. The best I’ll be able to do is order some  natural silk or cotton blend fabric and make undergarments – eugh! I though I’d left those things behind when I stopped living with my gran…

heh – sorry about the rant, but I’d just been shopping. Can you imagine how frustrating it is going down the shower gel & deodorant aisles in a chemist and finding nothing that you’re allowed to use?
I will be sensible and wear white/natural colour next to the skin – I’m not giving up my favourite colours for outerwear 🙂

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