These allergic contact dermatitis posts are starting to feel like Star Wars. Episode are episode, and just went you think it's done, BOOM, another episode. I feel like I'm never gonna be able to title any of these posts "Allergic Contact Dermatitis: The Solution," like it's never gonna happen.
If you've been following my journey with this, you know that I've been to the dermatologist, did patch tests, changed my makeup about 127x, worn makeup, not worn makeup, used this ointment and that ointment, this cream and that cream, and now most recently, I've added seen an allergist, upon the suggestion of my dermatologist, to that never ending constantly growing list.
I've never actually seen an allergist, so I didn't know what to expect. I didn't expect a 2.5 hour appointment, but hey, sometimes that's how it works. After an hour of going through my entire medical history, and apparently finding out that my blood pressure was a bit low (to be fair, I don't think it is. I was having an IBS flare up that day, and hadn't eaten, and I don't think any of that helped at all.), I got some allergy test. There was two of them.
The first, as you can see above, is called a Scratch Test. It's essentially as it sounds. They number different spots on your forearm, 1-30, and use a super super thin needle to scratch the surface of your skin and use some of the allergen to see if it causes a reaction. You wait for 15-20 minutes to see if it causes a reaction. They basically test for 30 of the most common allergens; ranging from pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, etc.
I don't know the name of this test, but I know that it sucked. They take bigger needles, and inject certain types of allergens under the skin. It's not a good time. As if the needle doesn't suck enough, when they inserted the allergen under the skin is just felt so gross. And the welts from it lasted on my skin for awhile actually. It's been almost a week and I still have tiny bumps from it. Same thing as the other test, you wait 15-20 minutes for a reaction.
Now the part you're waiting for, what was the result? According to the tests, I'm allergic to.. NOTHING! Yeah, you read that right. But, I know that's not right, and so did my allergist. At this point, I was poked, prodded, and scratched so much that I was beyond frustrated and fighting back tears in the doctors office. I asked her how that could be, that everything came back negative, but I've been dealing with allergies my whole life? I even had an allergy induced asthma attack when I was a kid!
She told me that these allergy tests only tests for the most common allergens. They can only grow so many types of mold and pollen in the lab, and there's literally thousands of different kinds. Plus, there's other allergens that you can't even test for, like air pollution. Can you imagine being allergic to friggin air pollution? Like where can you live?! I wouldn't put it passed me though. I wouldn't put any of those weird and uncommon allergies passed me, because I always have the weird and uncommon. She thinks my eczema has something to do with the negative tests too, which apparently can happen. So, the next step is blood work. Do you know who hates blood work? This girl. I have 5 tattoos, and I can do them no problem, but I cannot do blood work. I always feel like they're gonna mess up and collapse my vein and I'm gonna die. And the entire time it's in my arm, every time my heart beats, I just imagine blood squirting in the tube, and it just makes me nauseous. So, I've been kind of taking my time setting up that appointment. I am gonna go though. But I'm just not ready for it. I'm not ready for any of it. I'm not ready for uncomfortable blood work that may or may not yield results, just like everyone else hasn't yielded results. At this point, I'm frustrated, and my spirits are low. My stupid dermatitis on my eyelids was of course barely noticeable when I saw the allergist. Now, not even a week later, it's back. I feel like my entire life is an Alanis Morissette song. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?