Sigh And after everything was going oh so well. It's no secret to this community that I'm a high stress individual. Here recently however, I may have discovered a symptom/ailment more annoying than anything digestive. My chest, and around my neck (specifically) my shirt collar area, has started to turn red, get blotchy, itchy and somewhat painful. The weird thing is...it comes and goes throughout the day. Sometimes when I have a shirt on, sometimes when I have a shirt off. I switched to Sun and Earth detergent and ditched the Tide crap. Also, I haven't used shampoo or soap in the last two days. However, I had been eating a lot more fruit (A LOT MORE) here recently after reading Ray Peat. I'm sure I botched that somehow though...anyways it did seem to occur after eating the following meal: grass-fed ground beef, bone broth, sweet potatoes, olive oil (real stuff), pineapple, cinnamon, Himalayan salt, and turmeric. I've pretty much been eating nothing but red meat and fruit as of late. This is quite painful/uncomfortable, and I may have to go to the doctor to get some meds for it. Any ideas? Could it be stress or a food allergy as opposed to detergent/soap? This came on suddenly and I've never had anything like this in my life.
If you were me, here are the things I would be looking at: the detergent, the olive oil, and the turmeric. For someone else it could be other things. That Sun & Earth detergent, is it fragrance and dye free? I have to go fragrance and dye free whether the stuff's natural or not. Just because an essential oil is natural doesn't mean it won't potentially irritate your skin. Olive oil: if I eat too much of a good EVOO I will break out in various places, arms, legs, wherever. I don't know exactly why, if it's an allergic reaction or just the huge flush of oleic acid. Turmeric can cause contact dermatitis from topical application and, more rarely, anaphylactic reaction with associated urticaria from ingestion.
Fruit can trigger allergies from any remaining pollen or from other chemicals in the fruit. Pinapple contains bromelain, which is a known allergan for some. As I understand it, people with the pinapple allergy may have a similar reaction to olives because the allergans are chemically similar. I'm not sure any would really be left in olive oil but it does seem like an interesting coincidence, and if you have been eating a lot of these items, a very small amount will trigger a reaction.
My personal approach (I have lots of food allergies so I can sympathize) would be to eliminate the olive oil and pinapple. If the reaction goes away, wait a few weeks then re-introduce one of the items slowly and give it at least a week or two to see if you have a reaction. If you still have a reaction then start elminiating the spices (I personally react to tumeric/ginger/garlic) and then fruit by type (stone fruit vs berries vs pommes).
I figured out that coconut oil was causing me to have a reaction quite similar to the one you're describing. You didn't mention it, have you used it lately?
Is there a specific food that you've been eating a lot of recently? My reaction wasn't due to an 'allergy' per se, it was a drastic increase in consumption. I've since returned to normal levels and have been completely fine.
I've been eating a lot of fruit lately. I also have been splurging on Talenti Gelato (dairy + sugar). I'm wondering if I have that seborrheic dermatitis that's mentioned. I'm going to see the dermatologist tomorrow, so I'll for sure have a better diagnosis. I had been using an olive oil bar of soap plus Shikai Everyday Shampoo (and their conditioner). The thing is my scalp doesn't really itch or burn...so I'm not sure it's that particular malady. Also, I've never really noticed too much dandruff. My skin is a little red/inflammed behind the ears however. Not flakey, just red. Today has been much better though, for whatever reason...
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