Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Allergic Reactions

I've been asked what my kids allergic reactions look like.  Well, it really varies based on what they're exposed to.  Some rashes are super-obvious.  Some you can barely see, but it makes their skin feel like sandpaper.  Some you know what causes them, others could become a gameshow called "Name that Bump."

My oldest daughter's first rashes were so long ago that I don't have any good pictures of them--we didn't have a good camera then.  But here she is with hives after taking amoxicillin (which I am also allergic to).

Her entire body looked like this, including the soles of her feet and her face.  And they itched horribly.

This is a rash my Little Love #4 had recently.  We're pretty sure it came from clothes--you can see it follows the waistband line of his pants and then his shirt.  What I think caused it was this:  My sister-in-law had given me a big bag of hand-me-downs.  She uses Tide detergent, which is the absolute worst about leaving chemical residue in clothes.  I washed those twice in Charlie's Soap (which is, in my opinion, some of the best stuff on the market.  I don't use anything else in my house or for my family).  Charlie's actually pulls chemical residue out of clothes, but it takes several washes--especially for Tide.  Anyway, my theory is that there was enough Tide residue in my washing machine that when I washed a load of clothes with my son's clothes in it next, some of the Tide got into his clothes.  When he wore the clothes, this is what happened:

If you go to the tab about latex allergy, you can see pictures of the hives my youngest gets from latex, as well as the rash left on her face from certain foods.  She also can get hives if we eat certain foods, even if she's never eaten them before.  Mangoes are no longer allowed in our house.  She's never eaten them, but if anybody else in the house eats them--even if we follow up with vigorous handwashing and toothbrushing--she gets hives.

These are just a few of the examples we've seen over time.  The reactions are getting fewer and farther between as we learn what the triggers are and how to avoid them.  Sometimes it takes a lot of detective work, and sometimes we never figure out what caused a reaction at all.  Each episode is a learning process.

Have any of you learned tricks and methods to deal with allergies in your house?  Do you substitute certain foods in recipes?  Is there an everyday product you make rather than buy?  Please share!

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