Fragrance Allergy Holding Strong

Sometimes I optimistically wonder if I've outgrown my fragrance allergy. Answer: nope.  Confirmation: cologne-filled Uber ride drive my skin bonkers. Details below.

  1. Uber driver sprays a ton of cologne while in his car right before picking me up. Either that or he spilled a bottle of cologne in his car.
  2. I get in the car and can barely breathe because of how strong it smelled. It was beyond unpleasant.
  3. My legs got itchy within a few minutes. Oddly, the itchiness was on my knees, which is not a typical flare-up spot for me.
  4. I get home and am still itchy. Plus, my hair and clothes reek of the cologne.
  5. I shower and apply Protopic (generic brand) on my knees. Unfortunately, Protopic hurts before it helps, so my knees get hot and more itchy. 

Who needs patch testing when an Uber ride can confirm skin allergies?

New Alcohol Allergy Probably Caused by Dupixent - UPDATE: Allergy definitely caused by Dupixent


I can't drink alcohol anymore!

After 5 weeks of taking Dupixent, all alcoholic beverages make my face get super hot and extremely red. I've not had more than one drink at a time and sometimes just a few sips. If I drank more than a few cocktails in a row, my face may explode. I'm not going to try.

My reaction to alcohol is embarrassingly bad.

Two weeks ago, I was at a restaurant and thought a glass of the Rosé should be fine. A few sips later, the waitress was at my table asking if I was okay and assuring me that there was an EpiPen in the back. I had to give my delicious wine to my husband. Sigh. Within fifteen minutes, my face started feeling and looking better. It probably took 30 minutes to clear up.

Today at work there was a fun drinking and eating event. It was Cuban themed, so there was a frozen margarita machine filled with mojito mix and rum and a variety of Cuban sandwiches. I poured myself a little mojito. Within fifteen minutes, I could feel my face get hotter and hotter. Nooo! Not at work in a conference room with a ton of people! But it was too late. My face got redder and redder. I avoided seeing people, because it was that jarring. It took longer to cool down today (almost two hours), probably because I drank the entire small drink before realizing the consequences. 

Why, universe?

I don't use the victim card often, but I'm gonna grab it for a minute. Come on, universe! I have spent almost 13 years with eczema so severe at times that it significantly affects my life. I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel with a new medication and now I can't enjoy alcohol - why?!?!

Fine - I won't drink.

If this is a test to determine how much I really want Dupixent, then fine. I won't drink. Because I can't hide a beet-red face or handle my burning skin, I'll give up drinking. Goodbye delicious wine, mojitos, moscow mules and margaritas. :( This Dupixent medication better be miraculously good soon!


October 25, 2017 Update:

Workaround Identified: Keep drinking and it goes away

I have determined that if I continue to drink, my face will cool down and go back to normal, causing no further reaction. So, if I have 2 drinks, my face gets super flushed after the first sip, but by the end of the second drink (assuming, I'm not chugging them), my face would have cooled off. Last Saturday, I drank a small margarita at 12PM. My face didn't hurt at all (doesn't always), but it did get super red. I had a happy hour at 4PM and my face didn't get flushed at all that for those drinks. Not sure how long the "already flushed, so won't flush again" workaround lasts, but is interesting.

Same alcohol reaction happening to other Dupixent users

I've heard of two other Dupixent users that have the same severe face flushing reaction from alcohol. One of them confirmed they can drink through it and it doesn't come back for the remainder of their drinks. Again, interesting ...


February 3, 2017 Update:

Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer Drink Caused Same Reaction

Oddly, the non-alcoholic cocktail I had a few hours ago triggered the exact same hot, red, tight-skin feeling on my face. I confirmed with the waiter that it had zero alcohol, but it did have ginger beer, which is what I think must have triggered the reaction. Very interesting.

It's Your House, Silly!

Something big is happening. I'm getting closer to understanding my body. I've known it was trying to tell me something for years, but I just had no idea what it was saying. There were many unsuccessful guesses and a lot of giving up. About two weeks ago, my eczema became less about itchy, dry skin (although that was still there) and more about swollen eyes and a super hot (not in a good way), red face. And sleep was impossible. What the heck was going on?

So I went to California with an itchy body and a face I would've rather not taken out of the house. It was not the best way to mingle with my in-laws and extended family. Something great happened, though! My skin got better and better as I spent more time in California. Yes, California is great, but it's not a miracle remedy! By the time I left California, my face and skin was so much healthier. I got to back home and within 24 hours, my body screamed louder than ever before with something I'd never experienced. As I was trying to sleep, I noticed my eyes were leaking. Like a faucet! If I was on my left side, my left eye was running so much that I had sticky clear/light yellow liquid all over my left cheek. I was using tissue on my eye to keep it from getting super messy on my bed. It's gross, I know. I turned to the right side and it became my right eye that started leaking. I finally fell asleep super late holding tissues to my eyes. I woke up still on my right side and my right eye was so swollen I could barely open it (not exaggerating!). Holy moly, it was my house. My body was reacting to something in my house. 

Of course, I've done things already to help with my allergies at home. I have no carpet, avoid upholstered furniture, encase my bed, etc. But it wasn't good enough. My second day back home, I went to extreme measures. I washed all my bedding and pillows in the allergiene setting of my LG washer and dried it all in the steam setting. Included in the load was my new pregnancy boppy body pillow that I'd been using for a few weeks, but had never washed. My husband washed the walls of our bedroom. I pulled out some of the area rugs we have and put them in the garage. I washed my dog's doggie bed and, just to be safe, I washed my dog also. It was a busy night. And guess what? I was able to sleep that night and I looked better when I woke up! The next night, I was itchy on my body (maybe because my dog got on my bed during the day). I changed the sheets and the next night I slept perfectly! Am I allergic to dogs? Technically, yes. But, wait, hear me out! I'm technically allergic to tons of things and, even when avoiding them, I haven't found a direct correlation with my eczema. It may be that my dog Chester goes outside and gets seasonal allergens on his fur and he brings them in the house and my bed. It could be that it's not just Chester and is a combination of things, including dust mites, another allergen for me. 

Things aren't super clear yet, but I'm better understanding what my body is telling me. And I feel hope. HOPE. An eczema fighter needs hope. To see my body heal so quickly and become unhealthy so fast, depending on the presence of the trigger makes me feel better, because it means I can remove x, y, z and my skin will heal. I'd much rather have horrible skin when there's a trigger versus having chronic unhealthy skin for no reason and with no solution. 

So with my new found hope, I will keep changing things at home to fix my skin and avoid allergic reactions. Here I go!