Navigation

Newly Discovered Allergies

So I finally got tested for allergies, and it turns out that I am allergic to some steroids, antibiotic creams and carba mix (something I had never heard of before). The first two are easy enough to avoid; but the third one…not so much. Carba mix is an accelerator used in the production of rubber and latex; but it is also used to produce shampoos, cleaning products, etc. (and it is listed under different names). So it is extremely hard to avoid. So many things are made of rubber…Even the button to turn on my flashlight is made of rubber, the one on my washer, part of my tweezers…my tennis shoes…I am just not sure yet if I am allergic to any kind of rubber. The problem is that most of these products don't list all their ingredients. So it is very hard to tell if they could be potentially harmful to me. What about the rubber part of razors? That little strip it has…? Looking on the bright side, I am doing much better because I discovered one of the causes of my allergies was these external headphones that I loved wearing. As soon as I stopped using them, the allergic reaction on my face, neck and ears went away; but I am not 100% ok yet. I think it will be a trial and error kind of thing. It is hard, though…with carba mix, for the reasons mentioned above. If anyone here is allergic to it or has any tips on how to avoid it, I would highly appreciate it. Also, I see carbomer listed on some products as one of the ingredients; is that the same? I also wonder about anything I ingest that may also have it; but since what I have is contact dermatitis, I guess it wouldn't matter. Another question I have is, it seems pretty clear (like in the case of the headphones), that the allergies develop in the area directly in contact with what I am allergic to; but since allergies can also cause hives all over the body, it doesn't seem that is always the case. Also, when it comes to underwear, some underwear has elastane, so does swimwear…I don't know. Also; what about polyester? It seems like cotton is always the healthiest choice. All in all, it seems impossible to completely avoid carba mix…to the point that it's overwhelming… 

23
118

Comments 23

  • Shea

    I am not sure either and think the doc should be able to help some– BUT I know latex allergy is more common, so maybe it is a niche to find products online that are latex-free (they might be rubber-free or at least list ingredients?) MSDS sheets for products are usually downloadable online and might have info too?

  • Shea

    I just did a quick google search for latex free resources and this one has a chart for a few different companies by product, as well as sutions for when to wear gloves or cover something with a towel: 

  • Shea

    (I like to research and be as aware of allergies as possible so that if I ever start a business, make a product, host an event, I can make it allergy-free as possible.) 

  • K8sMom2002

    HHi, Alex … that is definitely a lot to take in. Glad you are seeing an improvement by not using the headphones!

    Could you ask your doctor about how cautious you need to be about latex and rubber? For instance, would a barrier between you and materials like that be enough? In that case, you might be able to wear flipflops as long as you were wearing socks, or a waistband of elastic from natural fibers might be okay if it were encased in fabric.

    Elastane is a man-made material that does not contain latex or rubber, but it may be made in facilities with those products or chemicals present. How comfortable are you with calling companies to ask about their processes?

  • Alex2375
    Shea posted:

    I just did a quick google search for latex free resources and this one has a chart for a few different companies by product, as well as sutions for when to wear gloves or cover something with a towel: 

    Thanks for conducting this research for me. I really appreciate it! Today I went back to the doctor for a shot (because I was ok for a week, and then started developing allergies again). I asked him why I was given Prednisone by the other doctor that works there, since it seems I may be allergic to it (and even two days back when I went there to tell them this, the manager gave me tons of hydrocortisone to be nice, because of what had happened (but I seem to be allergic to that too!)). Today the doctor seemed overwhelmed by my questions. He was understanding and all, but he said he'd had to call me back after he did his research. And for now to avoid everything until my rash goes away completely. It seems I have to stop living; I don't know. And why should I avoid EVERYTHING, and not just what I am allergic to? It seems like I am going to have to keep doing my own research. The carba mix allergies seem to be mild (at least in theory); so I don't know (because I am pretty sure those headphones I was using were giving me that bad allergic reaction). And the strong allergies I have are to some steroids and antibiotic cream. Also, it seems carba mix has many different names, and can be found in shampoos and other products (not just plain rubber). It seems like it will be a trial and error kind of thing. The doctor called me back this morning, after I left his office. He said not to take the Prednisone or use hydrocortisone (which I had already stopped doing anyway for obvious reasons). And that he was there for me. I went to these doctors because they have great reviews, and I don't understand how they haven't done their research already on the things they are testing for. And also, the doctor said there are some things that I need to avoid simply because there is no allergy test that can be done to determine whether allergies to those particular products exist (e.g.: weight loss pills). Thanks again for doing this research for me; I will also keep on doing my own.

  • Shea

    It looks like you are onto a good start of making connections between the allergen and the reaction– that in itself took me years to do! …And then the next step of figuring out how to avoid the trigger(s)– again that took me time too… But I think K8SMOM was onto something about trying to find out if its direct contact, indirect contact, inhalation, or ingestion for the allergens in question.

    If you havent already, bring in a log of some sort to the suspected allergen, the particular item containing it that you used, and the specific reaction (and whether it was direct contact or what). I know reactions can go from mild to severe too so it is good to be prepared and know the reactions can change– do you carry benadryl and an epipen and know the signs and symptoms between minor and major reactions?– because while you and your allergist are working on identifying the allergens, it might be mind-easing to know that info. 

    Good luck in your research, keep us posted, and Ill let you know if I run into anything else too .

  • Alex2375

    Ok…so, it seems I am finally starting to narrow down the list of things that have caused my skin allergies. The main culprit seems to be hair products. I use V05 as shampoo and conditioner because, even though it's cheap -price wise-, it really isn't. My hair has always seemed to like it. I also use Garnier Fructis leave-in conditioner. My dermatologist sold me bottles of Vanicream shampoo and conditioner, and I started using them. However, I am not sure these products are good for me. I don't know if it's psychological, but I feel that when I use these products my body starts itching. I also noticed that among the ingredients is some type of alcohol, which dries the skin (and my skin is already dry). Also, that something is hypoallergenic does not help someone suffering from skin allergies if among the ingredients is something they are allergic to. From what I could find out, carba mix allergens are: Diphenylguanidine, zincdibutyldithiocarbamate, and zincdiethyldithiomate. But I think it has to be listed under other names, because I did not find any of these names in the hair products I was using; but they have clearly been the cause of my allergies (one of them, or both). I know this because the skin reactions I get are on my neck, forehead, ears and hands (what I use to spread hair products on my hair).

    I would greatly appreciate it if anyone who knows other names carba mix is listed as could let me know, or if you know of any leave in conditioner that does not have carba mix (and even shampoo and regular conditioner).

    Thanks.

  • Melissa G

    Alex, that has to be frustrating! My youngest dd using Vanicream shampoo and conditioner. Are you itching all over or just on your scalp after using it? How often do you wash your hair?

  • Alex2375

    Yes, it is VERY frustrating! I wash my hair every other day. But I put Garnier Fructis on my hair daily. Because of my type of hair, I need a leave-in conditioner, and I still have not found a replacement for it. I am starting to think I need to get products that are 100% natural (and even stop using Vanicream, which I only started last week). I seem to itch while I am in the shower using it; I recall my arms were itching (which doesn't make sense); I don't recall what other parts of my body (not a morning person). But the reaction in general with what I used to use, and even with the Garnier Fructis, has been more of hurt, irritation and my skin peeling off in the areas that were touched by it. The other day I bought a shampoo and conditioner by Garnier Fructis that's paraben and silicone free; I don't know if I should use it or return it. I wish it was easier to identify carba mix as one of the ingredients. It seems it may have many different names and/or hair products companies just don't list all of the ingredients in their products.

    Is your daughter allergic to carba mix as well? Also, tennis shoes don't seem to be a problem. I am uncertain if this accelerator is found in anything that has rubber or latex in it or not.

  • Melissa G

    No, my dd is not allergic to carba mix. She has eczema and very sensitive skin. Vanicream products are the only things she can use without breaking out. 

    Beauty products are very hard to figure out what is in them! 

  • Alex2375

    When I thought I was making progress, I realized I wasn't. My allergies are back. I think they just "went away" because I had a shot that made them go away. The doctor sold me Vanicream's shampoo and conditioner. I decided to replace my leave-in conditioner for this all natural product I found on Amazon (ArtNaturals Argan-Oil Leave-In Conditioner). My hands seem ok after applying the product on my hair (which did not happen when I used Garner Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-In Conditioner). But my neck and chest are all red. My chest reaction…I have had it for a while now, and it is the only one that kind of burns and hurts. I think it only went away after I had a shot of Celestone. But what matters is to eliminate the root of the problem (not to mask it). Anyway; it has to be one of those two products that I am using that is causing this. Vanicream is supposed to be hypoallergenic, but that doesn't mean anything if the product contains the ingredient you are allergic to. Another problem is that dermatologists and doctors in general don't want to do any research on this; they just want to collect money (so instead of being knowledgeable on what they are supposed to treat, they sell you products that mask the symptoms. Who knows? Maybe they don't want to cure you at all; solve the problem. As long as it exists, they can collect your money). And the other problem is that you could be allergic to ANYTHING…literally. Yet there are only a few things that they test for. Wouldn't it make more sense to take the time to know your patient? What kind of substances he/she interacts with? Then you would be able to target potential causes…potential allergies. Medicine these days is backwards. It's not about healing, but about making money.

  • Shea

    I really thing some substances are more offensive to a body and are more likely to develop into allergens than others, often they are irritants because they are drying, or pokey looking molecules under a microscope, or similar/often encountered with another nagative pathogen in the past that caused irritation so the body made a connection to eliminate it when it identifies it (guilty by association). So when you are inflamed already and raw and sensitive– I do think there are some things that can be medicinal and healing to that type of sensitive skin. But it is good to know your own personal profile of allergies — which I think journal is good along with any tests that are available. 

    I still am trying to find the perfect soaps for my son and I but I do tend to gravitate toward ones that are advertised to people with eczema or sensitive skin and I try to get fragrance-free and with things that seem like they would be healing and providing moisture — like oatmeal extracts. I would give you a recommendation, but I still havent found anything I absolutely love. Right now I use Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash fragrance free and Cantu Shea Butter sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner (it does have a light fragrance but it doesnt seem to bother my asthma or skin). For my son I use Cloud Island sensitive-care fragrance-free shampoo and body wash.  I dont really know anything about carba-mix or latex or things they might be labelled as.. So I dont know if that will be helpful for you :/

  • Alex2375

    Shea, thank you so much for all your input. I guess it will be a trial and error kind of thing. I guess I will keep ordering different hair products that seem like they could be good for me until I finally find the right one.

  • Alex2375

    Yes; I have. I was just coming here to update you all on that, in case this information could be useful to someone with my same problem. After a while of looking at many different products, I ended up buying a leave-in conditioner from Uncle Funky's Daughter, and it didn't irritate my skin at all. It said it didn't have any "junk" in it, so I thought it would be a good idea to try it. And it worked! So I am glad my skin reaction went away (at least partially. The hands are always what's more exposed for obvious reasons. So betamethasone and Euricin's Calming Cream have become my two best friends). I also just ordered Uncle Funky's Daughter's shampoo and conditioner (since I am not a big fan of Vanicream, nor do I understand how something that has any type of alcohol in it could be hypoallergenic (what does that mean, anyway?), or good for a person with dry skin. So hopefully those two products will work (I am hoping and thinking they will, since the leave-in conditioner did (if a company uses carba mix, they probably use it in all their products. But I also think I may be allergic to argan oil). I had never spent so much money on hair products in my life; but of course it doesn't cost as much as having to go to the dermatologist every week! (And it is not as annoying).

    I wanted to thank you, Shea, and everyone else in this community who has given me support when I really needed it. This was something new for me, so it felt good to have a supportive community out there giving me good tips and helping me out. It is really strange that my mom has developed skin allergies as well (like me, -and even when we both have sensitive skin- she had not had this problem before). We started having this problem about the same time (and without knowing about each other's problem, and not even living in the same area).

    Anyway. Have a great week!

  • Shea

    I ditto what Melissa said! (I'll have to try out Uncle Funkys Daughter, lol funny name). Weird coincidence with your mom developing some skin problems at the same time.. Although this time of year can wreak havoc on allergies or seems. I am glad you found some safe products!