I first realised I had an allergy when I was sailing in a week long competition and needed to tape my hands to preserve them. I borrowed some brown sports tape and thought nothing of wrapping the plaster around my hands to protect them from getting rope burn and blisters. After a full day’s sailing, I took the tape off. It stung a bit but ripping tape off skin usually does.
That night, I woke up with itchy, burning hands and by morning, the tops of my hands were covered in tiny, raised blisters. With five more days of sailing to go and knowing all of the pressure that would be on my hands, I attended the medical tent. My blisters were treated like burns. Cream was applied, they were dressed, put into latex gloves and then covered with my sailing gloves so that I could continue competing. By the end of the competition, my hands were a mess.
My next major reaction was after a dance class. There had been a ballet lesson before my class and the dancers had put resin on their pointe shoes to stop them slipping. My arms came in contact with the floor at some point and a familiar reaction appeared on my arms over the next few days.
It was time to do something about it. I saw an allergist who did a patch test. There were no surprises that I had a significant reaction to rosin/colophony.
Now I have a name for what I am allergic to but I am no closer to living an allegy free life. It seems rosin or colophany is in a lot of every day products from soap and shampoo to newspapers. I have boxes of once-used moisturisers, shoes that have been worn no more than a few times (because I’m allergic to the glue that sicks them together), soap bars, shampoos, sunscreens and make up, all that have left me with blisters. I have even sampled moisturisers and had no reaction until I start to use it more regularly. My face often looks like I’ve had a pimple breakout.
What exactly am I allergic to? Everything it seems. The trouble is, there are so many different names that rosin can go under. Here’s a list of what I should be avoiding. *slaps forehead*
(click to enlarge)
Information from dermnetnz.org
I’d love to hear if anyone shares this allergy and how you manage it. I’d also love to hear about any skincare products that you may be able to recommend.