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Formaldehyde allergies
An_191044 posted:
How does one treat or relieve the itching caused by formalehyde allergy?
Bianca_Thompson responded:
When I discovered I have an Iodine allergy, the way it got treated is to flush the skin with cool water and apply an antihistamine cream, I always keep Bendryl cream around because of the fact that I run the risk of coming into contact with iodine in my job.
sgbl88 responded:
Any antihistamine would be a good choice. In this case, liquid benadryl might be your best choice for fast relief. You could also try Zyrtec, but the liquid form. Creams will work also, but I find them less effective than orals for this kind of reation. My allergist also recommends allergy eye drops applied topically to some rashes and hives.

RebeccaTone responded:
I am having a terrible time with my formaldehyde allergies. I also have allergies to Isothiazolinone, Thimerosol, Acrylates and all their synonyms, derivates and componesnt. Less than 2% of the population have these allergies. Please! There has to be other people out there. Help!
Kristalynn replied to RebeccaTone's response:
Hi there - I have just been diagnosed with a formaldehyde allergy - and am also allergic to all of the formaldehyde donors as well. I am totally overwhelmed because it is in everything!! I am not sure what to believe - as there are so many different pieces of info posted online. And as much as I am grateful to my Dr. for the correct diagnosis (after 10 years of dealing with bad skin issues)....I am frustrated that the advice I have been given to deal with it is just avoid it. How?? I am considering denial - but I doubt that is going to work very well

I see that it has been quite some time since your post - but hoping we can connect and compare notes?

Thanks - Krista
egreteffects responded:
Krista and everyone,

I was diagnosed about three years ago. I'm so surprised there isn't more discussion on WebMD and have previously had a really hard time finding any community support. Yes, a formaldehyde allergy is rare, but that doesn't mean there aren't A LOT of people dealing with it so there ARE resources. A lengthy discussion of strategies can be found here .

Basically, someone with this allergy can be exposed to a very small amount but may not react for a few days, by which time it can be very hard to know what it was that triggered the itchy, dry, cracking skin. Even if you don't have any more exposure, that reaction can last for weeks. But chances are good you WILL have more exposure because, yes, formaldehyde is everywhere. Paper. Building materials. Beauty and cleaning products. Clothing.

The good news is that people are becoming more aware, and awareness - I so, so hope - might bring some change. I'm personally starting to get a little up-in-armsy about it.

I'm not going to lie - this is a huge pain in the ass. I still have reactions on my hands, but it used to cover my whole body.

The most important thing you can do is find a dermatologist who does patch testing so you have a diagnosis and someone who can treat and advise you on a long-term basis. Talk to them about CARD (contact allergen replacement database) or other databases that will specifically list products safe for you to use based on your test results. They will help you understand how the allergy works and how you can avoid contact - because, unfortunately, that is the strategy.

Here are some things that should help in the mean time:
1. Switch to Dove White Beauty Bars for your hands and body. Take a bar with you in your purse.
2. Keep vinyl gloves on hand for any cleaning. Bring some to work if you think that will help.
3. Switch to Aussie "Moist" shampoo and conditioner.
4. Stop using hand sanitizers. Use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser without water instead.
5. Moisturize every time you wash your hands and at night with Vanicream hand cream or lotion.
6. Lay an acrylic blanket (which is less likely to have been treated with formaldehyde than one with natural fibers) over your couch, chairs, carpet, and even car seat - especially if your skin would otherwise be touching those materials.
7. Invest in some long underwear from WinterSilks , which will provide a barrier between your skin and clothes that may have been treated with formaldehyde.

The personal products are on my CARD list, which excludes formaldehyde, cross-reactors, and several other things. You should be able to get all of them at Target.

I'll be watching for more discussion and am so thankful to see more of a support community forming.

RebeccaTone replied to Kristalynn's response:
Hi Krista and others- I too am glad to find others who suffer from this life altering allergy. As I mentioned above I have allergies to 3 other chemicals. It is very hard to find anything online but you will find some additional info looking for MCS or multiple chemical sensitivities. Krista as far as the formaldehyde there is no escaping it. I will tell you some of the things I have learned. All new clothes, suitecases, furniture, mattresses have formaldehyde. You must take someone shopping with you or wear gloves to touch clothes. I buy everything I want to even try on and try it on at home and immediately jump in shower. It absolutely sux. There is alot of formaldehyde in new homes and especially wood products. Treated wood for decks also. There is a reason why you will never have to stain it again. I saw a specialist and there are less than 50 in the whole country who treat this. You should put new clothes in the trunk on the way home and if they will be in car for awhile. Also search for "wake up and smell the formaldehyde" i think it is organiclothings but that phrase will get it. I am going to put my aol email out here. I am phasing it out anyway but go ahead and contact me and I will give you my new one and phone numbers. I want to try to bring some national attention to this. I wish I could get Dr. Oz. I have written but there is limited space and you can't attach and pictures. My eyes are the only things that break out and it has ruined them. I would give anything for it to be elsewhere on my body. The lady who suggested Cetaphil, it is a good priduct but contains accrylates. Krista my email is . I hope to hear from you soon.

RebeccaTone replied to egreteffects's response:
Theresa and Krista and otheres - I forgot to ask (Theresa) I got my CARD list from the specialist. Is there a way to get it without seeing the doctor. I know it is a database maintained by the mayo clinic? As far as how many people are allergic to formaldehyde it is less than 2% of the population. Anyone who wants to contact me is welcome. As I am sure all of you have guessed, manufacturers know about this increasing sensitivity. It is a matter of the almighty dollar.
MegK00 replied to Kristalynn's response:
Hi, I was just diagnosed with an allergy to Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Donors. Trying to replace all my products/clothes etc....anyone have any tips or suggestions on product lines or stores that you trust? Or what type of fabrics are safe?


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