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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:38 am 
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I thought I'd share what I just discovered with my son. He seemed to be constantly itching around his neck and lower hair line, and when I looked at the area, it was red and he actually had small hives covering the area. I started wondering....oh no....what's he having a reaction to? old allergen? new allergen? new reaction to his cream? And then it dawned on me that it could be the clothing tag inside his shirt. I cut out all of the tags in his shirts and pj's and the problem has disappeared. I never thought that a clothing tag could give someone hives -- ? who knew? I think that allergic childen are just sensitive children in general....perhaps children with "mysterious" itching are having a reaction to certain fabrics? I don't know....just a thought.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:14 am
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Location: California
ethansmom wrote:
I thought I'd share what I just discovered with my son. He seemed to be constantly itching around his neck and lower hair line, and when I looked at the area, it was red and he actually had small hives covering the area. I started wondering....oh no....what's he having a reaction to? old allergen? new allergen? new reaction to his cream? And then it dawned on me that it could be the clothing tag inside his shirt. I cut out all of the tags in his shirts and pj's and the problem has disappeared. I never thought that a clothing tag could give someone hives -- ? who knew? I think that allergic childen are just sensitive children in general....perhaps children with "mysterious" itching are having a reaction to certain fabrics? I don't know....just a thought.


My son (also Ethan, BTW) has reacted to some tags in clothing, the tags that are like heavy paper with a coating. Some tags are fabric, almost like satin. I have found these are fine for my Ethan. The "paper" ones are a definite problem. And some tags appear to be cotton with a coating of some sort. These are a problem as well. He gets a rash by evening or the next day at the site of the tag. He is allergic to latex so I have assumed there is some link between these tags and latex. Trying to discover what these tags have on them seems close to impossible. I tried at one point but got nothing and gave up. I just cut them out - which makes handing down a litlle more difficult. Oh! Well!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
I can definately see where you are coming from. I have four children my older two(girls)
have no allergies at all. The younger two (boys) are anaphylactic to peanuts/nuts, legumes. I thought I screwed up somewhere along the line with my pregnancy with the first boy (ate peanuts? Did not breastfeed long enough {one year} Made my own baby food etc...) with the second avoided all peanuts/nuts, breastfed for two years etc. The second seems to be even more sensitive to allergens than the first.They both for some reason reacted to buckles on overalls. I would also wash their clothes seperately in Ivory Snow ( I just love the smell) and it took me a while to figure out that it was bothering them so I have used tide ever since (less than what is recommended) with no fabric softener or dryer sheets in the dryer. They also avoid some of their clothing that they just had to have. (I think it's the synthetic material)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:01 pm 
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Another point about fabrics -- I was in the kid's clothing section the other day and noticed that they have started making kid's clothes that are "stain and wrinkle resistant" (I know that they've done this with men's clothing for a while now...). I've heard of potential health problems related to this type of clothing because of the chemicals that they are treating the fabrics with to make them stain and wrinkle resistant....one more thing to watch out for with our sensitive little ones.....who knows what chemicals they're using??!!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:35 pm 
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Location: Canada
ethansmom--good thinking--who would have figured that one out? I do believe that all the chemicals in everything are wreaking havoc with those of us with sensitive immune systems.....the other thing I was thinking of--is your son dermographic (i.e. does he get hives if his skin is scratched.) if so, it could be that the friction of the tag is causing the problem.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:57 pm 
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Lisa -- I had no idea such a condition existed...and funny that you mention it -- the other day, Ethan had what looked to be a hive on his upper cheek, and later it was apparent (once the redness and swelling went down) that it was a small scratch. Interesting -- I'll certainly keep my eye on that (thanks for the info!).

anne wrote:
Quote:
Does it make a difference that his skin looks perfectly normal/healthy? He has no patches that are red or dry or broken out in any type of rash...he just itches. Does this mean anything? Internal vs. external allergens?


anne -- do you think this could be the problem for your son Ethan (great choice in names by the way :wink: ) I did a search on the internet and found the following:
Quote:
One of the commonest causes of itching without a rash is due to a state of the skin called dermographism (“skin writing”). At least 5% of the population are so-called dermographic individuals. These dermographic individuals often have a personal or family history of eczema, asthma or hay fever (known as an atopic tendency). Dermographic individuals can be identified by stroking the skin of the upper back with a sharp point such as a key revealing a red raised weal which develops within a few minutes of stroking the skin. This is due to chemicals released from cells within the skin (mast cells). Mast cells also contain histamine which at certain sites may cause itching. The itching tends to be worse where there is pressure on the skin, for example around waistbands, under bra straps and around collars and cuffs. When pressure is removed from the skin such as with undressing the itching then tends to start. Scratching at the skin will then cause more histamine to be released from the mast cells and a vicious cycle of itching and scratching is then set up.

The condition is aggravated by heat and therefore is usually more apparent in the evening when body temperature rises and in bed at night. It tends to be worse after a hot bath or after drying the skin with a towel. The pressure of water hitting the skin from a shower may also cause itching. Dermographic individuals tend to itch when exposed to wool and develop a nettle type of rash when handling fibre glass. Although 5% of the population are dermographic, for the majority of time no symptoms are encountered but individuals may suddenly experience itching due to their dermographic skin for which no cause can be found which can then run a persistent course for a year or 18 months before spontaneously improving.


Here's the direct link to the site for more info: http://www.medicdirect.co.uk/diseases/d ... 645&step=4


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:44 pm 
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Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Quote:
Does it make a difference that his skin looks perfectly normal/healthy? He has no patches that are red or dry or broken out in any type of rash...he just itches. Does this mean anything? Internal vs. external allergens?


Eczema is often called "the itch that rashes". For more info about eczema, see the following links:

- http://www.eczemacanada.ca/

Quote:
The constant itch that goes along with eczema makes it very different from any other skin condition. Eczema is often called the ‘itch that rashes’ rather than the ‘rash that itches’ because the itch starts long before the rash appears. The itch leads to a lot of scratching and that's when the red, raw rash appears.


The only thing I don't like about this site is that it tends to downplay allergies as a cause, and says that it's a dermatologist who should be consulted. I personally feel that a good allergist should be consulted first, to ensure that all allergies have been identified. (I guess I feel so strongly about this because I've seen and heard about so many babies and little children suffering for a long time because they didn't get to see an allergist!)

- http://www.eczemahelp.ca/index.htm

- http://www.eczemaguide.ca which has an interesting page called "What else looks like eczema at http://www.eczemaguide.ca/basics/what_else_looks_like_eczema.html

Anne - is there any way to find another allergist in your area? I'm with you that treating the symptoms is really not the way to go. Our GP was like that when Xavier first started having problems with eczema (at age 3 months) and had me slathering on hydrocortisone cream and pouring Benadryl down his throat (we're talking about a THREE MONTH OLD BABY here...). It was horrendous. Anyway, I fairly quickly saw that the approach was ridiculous (perhaps it was all the crying we were both doing...?), realized that we needed to find out the root cause, and demanded to see an allergist. And he tested positive to wheat and milk. Others allergens followed.

I would personallly suspect other allergens, but to figure it out you're going to need professional help. And it doesn't sound like your allergist is giving you the help you need and deserve. A dermatologist might be in order too, as long as its one who believes that there is a root cause for eczema and is willing to try to help you figure out what that might be.

I really feel for you and your child. Eczema is such a nightmare.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:17 pm 
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Just wanted to say that I think this forum is great for putting forth ideas and getting people to think about things that they might not have considered before.....I don't think it's about people diagnosing themselves or others....ulitimately that's a doctor's job. But being able to bring questions to your doctor about something that you've read or heard pertaining to your situation (that your doctor might not have considered before you brought it up) is a good thing. It's about people empowering themselves -- getting information and asking the questions. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:03 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Coquitlam
Quote:
Just wanted to say that I think this forum is great for putting forth ideas and getting people to think about things that they might not have considered before.....I don't think it's about people diagnosing themselves or others....ulitimately that's a doctor's job. But being able to bring questions to your doctor about something that you've read or heard pertaining to your situation (that your doctor might not have considered before you brought it up) is a good thing. It's about people empowering themselves -- getting information and asking the questions.


I agree with you completely but I have also run into too many situations where the Doctors have made the wrong diagnosis. For instance My girlfriends son was ill so she brought him to the pedi. he was given some amox. about four days later he was running a fever and had a horrible rash over his entire body. She brought him back and was told that he had scarlet fever and was not getting enough amox. so the prescription was doubled.

Well it just so happened that she was over at my place and was telling me the story. I took one look at her son and told her that the doctor was wrong. He was allergic to the
amox. (and here the doctor had doubled the prescription) I gave her the Benadryl and told her to give him a dose if it starts to disappear then it is an allergic reaction. and to see her family doctor. well it turned out I was right. It took two doses of the benadryl and the rash was gone.

I have many many more stories. I don't think the doctors really consider allergic reactions.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:24 pm 
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You're right Sil -- I don't think that all doctors are aware of allergies....(I've had some experiences as well) -- my point wasn't so much in terms of doctors "knowing everything" and that we should take what all doctor's say without question (they are only human as well). It's more that I think that we should take charge of our own experience and educate ourselves and seek answers by whatever means possible. My point was more to relay that I personally use this forum to share my opinions and experiences with others, not to presume that I can diagnose them, but so that they might see themselves in my experience and then seek further information for themselves if something I have said resonates with them.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:02 pm 
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Location: Coquitlam
I would never assume that I am right. I do always reccommend that they speak to a doctor or specialist. But one thing that I have learnt in life is to always trust your intincts and listen to what your gut is telling you and to stand up for what you believe in.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:11 pm 
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I agree. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:14 am
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Location: California
Karen-

Yes, I can get another allergist. We see the pediatrician next week, and we will discuss what our plan of action is. We have an HMO and can keep seeing new dr.'s as needed. We saw a ped. derm. shortly after being diagnosed, but things resolved so well, we haven't really needed a follow-up, until now? She is much harder to see because of limited availability, 1x per month in our area? But I am going to go to another allergy department. I'm doing research now. All the allergists available to us have webpages and all talk about allergies and asthma, but none specifically mention food allergies.

Thanks for the description of excema. I'll have to remember "the itch that rashes." It makes me feel a little saner. I just followed a discussion somewhere else about excema that doesn't itch, and it made me wonder even more. I like what you referenced. It makes me feel like I must be doing something right by keeping his symptoms to the itch and not developing the full red, inflamed, broken skin. That was awful when he was a baby! But I can't dismiss the fact that he still itches intensely, and I need to figure out why.

Ethan'smom - When he had SPT the nurse commented that he had reactive skin, or something to that effect, because even the saline control had a weal. But, when he scratches and scratches he does not get any redness, inflamation or hives. And I know I shouldn't, but when I scratch for him he doesn't develop any marks either. So, I don't know? I'll definitely keep it in mind! Especially the duration of flare-ups. That's really interesting!

I'm tempted to video tape him when he's on the potty scatching. (promise to destroy before dating years :oops: ) Last night he was up 3 times to "go potty" and each time he sat with eyes closed, almost falling over, scratch, scratch, scratching. Sometimes I think it helps doctors to have visuals of the actual symptoms. Video might be a bit much though :roll:


How can I refer back to the topic while I'm writing a reply?? I forget who said what or asked what, and I'd like to check back, but don't want to lose everything I already wrote. And how do you do multiple quotes? Do you highlight, then quote?? I need to spend more time playing around with all this but there is so much to read and learn!!

Anne


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
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Location: saskatchewan, canada
Try highlighting the web address and using the "cut/copy/paste" under edit on your tool bar. You can do a lot with this.


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