I recently discovered I had an allergy to washing-up gloves?! Well, the latex that makes up the washing-up gloves. Every time after I finished washing up and I took off the gloves I would have this frantic moment of itching and scratching my left hand, including in between my fingers. It was awful and really painful. What made it more unbearable was that it lasted for days and never felt like it was getting any better; And why would it, I wore washing up gloves every day I washed up!
I can only liken the itchy feeling to when you’ve been stung by stinging nettles and no amount of scratching, shea butter, Aloe vera or praying it away makes it feel better. It was a subtle but constant burning feeling under my skin. And it wasn’t like eczema, as I suffered from eczema as a child until I grew out of it as a teenager.
So began the process of elimination!
Was it something I had eaten? eh, no. As I hadn’t really changed what I’d been eating, rather, introducing new fruits and veggies to my plate; But I wasn’t getting a reaction to those foods after I’d eaten them. Was it a new skincare product? definitely not. I am completely loyal to my shea butter, almond oil, Jason, and Dr Bronner’s skincare products. Ok, so was it the washing up detergent or the cleaning products that I’ve been using? again, no, it couldn’t be as like the skincare products, I am very committed to using and enjoy using my Ecover brands to wash the dishes, clean the house and do the laundry.
Ok, so what is it then?
Well, the process didn’t really take me very long to eliminate all those things above. I thought ‘maybe it’s the gloves’?. So, I started washing up without the gloves. Thank goodness that the detergent isn’t harsh on your skin! Anyway, when I first washed up without the gloves, after a couple of days I noticed I wasn’t itching my hand as often as I use too. I continued washing up without them for another couple of days and I wasn’t itching my hand at all after washing up.
It was the dreaded washing up gloves!
I want to add that the itching was going on for a little while and it would go from one hand to another or on both hands. So I needed to put a stop to it. I really didn’t want my hands to look like shrivelled up old prunes. After washing up for a week without gloves I really pampered my hands with Himalayan salts and shea butter, as the London water is harsh.
MY NEW WASHING UP GLOVES
I had to do some research to find some new gloves that were latex free and for sensitive skin, as I can’t wash up without them. So I’m going to switch between the Marigold Sensitive and the Bizzybee brand.
Marigold Gloves are for Sensitive Skin and specially developed and tested to be super strong as well as gentle on your skin. They have longer cuffs for even more protection and an extra-comfy cotton lining. The safe-hold pattern gives you more grip and a special coating provides extra protection and durability. There also really cheap, around £2.99.
Bizzybee offers moisturising gloves that contain a natural moisturiser which cares for and protects your skin. They are made from soft vinyl – ideal if you have sensitive skin or a latex allergy. Vinyl does not contain natural rubber latex or chemical accelerators. They are kinder to your skin with an anatomical shape for a closer, more comfortable fit. These are another good purchase, around £3.00
I’m currently using the Marigold Gloves and I’m really impressed with them; even more so that I’m not itching or scratching when I take them off. I’m really chuffed that I was able to identify the problem and find a replacement that would still allow me to wash up – allergy free.
Allergies can occur for many reasons. Although I’ve been plant-based for years, I’ve been adopting a more raw food, no oil lifestyle as of late, which could make me more susceptible to temporary allergic reactions. My sister recently had a colonic and I explained to her and it’s a noted fact, that a possible side effect of a colonic could be an allergic reaction to the foods she previously ate, as well as becoming allergic to other stimuli within her home that was not an issue before she had the colonic. Allergies are a way of the body letting you know that something isn’t right, that you need to act swiftly to remove the allergen from your environment.
Below is a brief overview of what allergies are and its triggers, which I hope, if you experience allergies will give you the impetus to be proactive or more strategic in eliminating possible allergens that can cause so much discomfort.
WHAT ARE ALLERGIES
Allergies occur when your body is hypersensitive and overreacts to environmental substances. As a result, allergic reactions can occur when the body activates your immune system and an inflammatory and purging response takes place. Allergic reactions lead to swelling, itching, redness, sneezing and watery eyes. Although some allergic reactions, like my experience can be a mild annoyance, it can also lead to the more extreme life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
It’s in the air?!
Airborne allergies are the most common allergies that many people experience. It is triggered by tiny particles suspended in the air. This includes hay fever, tree and fungus allergies as well as perennial rhinitis such as pet and dust mite allergies. These allergies can be made worse by pollutants, such as car fumes, smoke, and strong perfumes.
What did you eat?!
Many of us, especially people who have transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle as a result of combating allergies, will be well aware that allergies from eating certain types of food can be an allergen trigger. Allergies from certain types of foods and drinks can range from mild reactions of discomfort, heartburn and itchy hives on the skin to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Common allergens include dairy, gluten, sugar, yeast, shellfish and eggs.
What’s wrong with my skin?!
When I walk through the detergent aisle in the supermarket, I can smell the strong chemicals in washing powders and liquid softeners that have been masked with even stronger perfumed fragrances. I try and live by a very simple rule, ‘if it’s something I can’t eat then I don’t want it in or on my body’! I’m not saying that I want to eat soap powder and drink fabric conditioner, I’m referring to the ingredients. We need to understand that companies are not legally required to label all the ingredients on branded items, such as soap powders. And many of those hidden ingredients could be a contributing factor to the allergic reactions you experience or worse, developing asthma or a form of cancer. If your skin comes into contact with an allergic trigger then it can also cause skin reactions like dermatitis. Common triggers are materials like latex (those dreaded washing up gloves) insect bites or stings and chemical cleaners. That’s why I would really encourage you to purchase items that have very limited ingredients that you CAN read and UNDERSTAND and preferably plant-based.
PROCESS OF ELIMINATION
There are some people who are suffering in silence, those who are just living with allergies that they could heal and eliminate, and those who have made a proactive decision to end the discomfort once and for all. There are both conventional methods and naturopathic methods to heal allergies. Even if you don’t want dive into the wonderful and beneficial world of plant-based living, but you want to get rid of the allergies, I would certainly take a serious look at the above points I made about the food and chemicals you use on a daily basis and either get rid of them or swap them with something more plant-based with no harmful ingredients. Airborne allergies are going to be a little bit more challenging to address, however, changing the foods you eat will definitely have a beneficial improvement on your overall health which will, in turn, alleviate or help eliminate the airborne allergies, as you will be improving and strengthing your immune system with immune-boosting plant-based foods.
I would also encourage you to do as much research as you can, so you can learn about the foods, drinks, chemicals and other allergens (rubber gloves) that you need to be mindful off and how you can prevent yourself from becoming allergic to them.
I hope this was useful and if you’ve suffered from allergies or have any remedies that you would like to share, drop me a line in the comment section.