When Vitamins Attack

One week ago, I went to my doctor to see if she could offer me any help with this persistent rash I’ve had around my mouth for 8 months now. Some days it is barely noticeable and others it looks like I have a goatee made of acne and eczema. Sexy, right? I thought so, too. Regardless of how sweet my 5 o’clock rash-beard looked, I was growing tired of it so I figured an osteopathic doctor may be the right person to see. For the past 8 months, I have had 3 different doctors (2 different primary care docs, 1 dermatologist) tell me “just keep putting more steroids on it” and they weren’t listening to me when I said steroids just make it worse!

My new osteopathic doctor last week finally GOT IT. She agreed that steroids were not the right treatment option. Instead, she wanted me to stop all medicines on my face and simply use Vitamin E gel and a face exfoliating brush every other day to help my skin rebuild itself. I loved her perspective and plan of attack. Off I went with a glimmer of hope for the first time in 8 months.

Fast forward 7 days and I am in one of the worst allergic reactions (swelling/rash wise) that I’ve ever had. Thankfully, the swelling is only topical. Even though my face got so huge that it had no bone definition whatsoever, my eyes swelled so tight I could barely see, and hives trailed down my neck and chest, I could still breathe fine. In a time of misery, I am so thankful for that. Even though I have sent pictures of my face to several friends/coworkers, I don’t want to post one here for what should be obvious reasons (I don’t need this picture magically reappearing at say my wedding, on Facebook, or any other public venue), so instead I will show you a very similar image. A big thank you to my best friend for pointing this out to me yesterday, gave me the laugh I needed:

images-1

The Mask, 1985

Okay, but let me get a few things straight here. I DO NOT have red hair, and my forehead is not nearly as huge. Sadly, Rocky here has more bone definition than I currently have. Also, his eyes look a lot better than mine. Other than that, it’s nearly a spitting image folks.

So what happened? How did I go from just a tiny rash around my mouth to looking like a blimp-faced freak with raised rashes and welts covering almost every inch of my face?

Vitamin E happened.

images-2Awww, but it looks so sun-shiney, so cute and harmless. LIES!

Maybe I should have listened to my intuition when my doctor told me to spread vitamin E all over my face, but I was just hungry for a fix. You see, about a year ago I stopped eating foods that have “mixed tocopherols” or “tocopheryl acetate” or any type of vitamin E preservative in them. I kept having weird allergic reactions happen (nothing TOO serious, just some Benadryl and inhaler use required) and when I read the ingredients on all of these different occasions, a vitamin E additive was always the common link. I felt crazy, though. “You can’t be allergic to A FREAKING VITAMIN, COURTNEY” I would tell myself. I never mentioned it to people because it sounds crazy, right? Instead I just secretly avoid most cereals, boxed rices, and several other packaged food items that normally contain vitamin E. And lots of lip gloss, chap stick, and other beauty items, too!

This past week taught me that my “make believe allergy” is not so make believe after all. I have mixed emotions about it. Part of me feels like “YAY I’M NOT A HYPOCHONDRIAC OR CRAZY!” and the other part of me feels like “really, vitamin E? What a pain in the ass allergy to have.” Have you ever noticed how many products have vitamin E in them? Here’s a fun fact, the Cetaphil body wash and body cream that I have been using for the past errrr 10 years both have Vitamin E additives.

Suddenly, I feel like there is a reason my eczema NEVER goes away. It gets better at times, but it never leaves. A quick Google search for “vitamin E allergy” showed me that my symptoms are exactly on par with a typical Vitamin E allergy response. This doesn’t mean I have to avoid all foods with vitamin E (that would be nearly impossible), but I can’t use products or foods with Vitamin E added into it. To be safe, I’ll probably still avoid foods that are REALLY high in vitamin E.

This week long allergic reaction has knocked me out of work (yay for using almost all of my sick time for the YEAR before January is over) and has caused more pain and misery than I can recall having in a long time. Yesterday after taking 5 Benadryl (throughout the day) and having NO decrease in the swelling, I called my doctor and asked for a steroid prescription. You KNOW I’m desperate if I’m begging for oral steroids. I am VERY anti-steroid and was reminded of why last night. Steroids have a weird effect on me. They make my whole body itch and feel like someone is sticking needles in me from head to toe. While a shower seemed like a good idea to help soothe the pain I was in, it was probably the worst thing I could have done. About 30 seconds into the shower I was on the ground hyperventilating and sobbing my eyes out. I hate steroids.

The good news? I woke up this morning not looking so…scary. I finally have a real nose again as opposed to a huge flat, mushy, red chunk of skin blending in perfectly with my cheeks and swollen eyelids. My face is still beet red, but the weird maze of rashes that covered both cheeks (looks like crop circle rashes to me, hah!) seems to look less patterned and less raised. I still can’t open my eyes all the way and they are both still bruised and purple looking, but it’s getting better. While I’m not looking forward to the next 5 days on steroids (aka feeling like I am being stung by a swarm of bees constantly for 5 days), I’m praying they convince my body to stop trying to compete with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

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I am beyond thankful for the prayers, emails, phone calls, and support I have received from friends/family this past week. Yesterday, my best friend who is insanely busy with two small kids dropped everything to drive to my house, cook me some delicious carrot and sweet potato soup, and watch over me until Isaac got home. And Isaac, always my rock and support through these hard times.

Alright, I’m off to go do more research about how to best avoid Vitamin E.

Weird.

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65 thoughts on “When Vitamins Attack

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  3. I’m so sorry you had that reaction. It’s one thing to flare up in spots that can easily be covered, but your face…..not so easy. I hope you figure out how to reduce your vitamin E intake and can find a good moisturizer as well. I’m starting to wonder about vitamin E – as the supplements are usually derived from corn, soy, cotton, or rice these days. And you know all of those except rice is genetically modified, most the time. So, more than likely, the majority of vitamin E added to our products are genetically modified. It’s believed, and some studies show that GMOs can wreak havok on our body and cause major inflammation and disease. I just watched Genetic Roulette (really scary!), so this is all top of mind. Anyway, I’m wondering if digesting GM vitamin E has somehow made you develop this allergy vitamin E. Just a crazy theory, but you never know. I guess there is no way to know. All you can do is cut out as much vitamin E as possible.I hope you’re doing much better now.

    • You are exactly right, body eczema I can handle (normally) but the face? REALLY hurts my soul and self-esteem! Very interesting that E is derived from those foods that are often genetically modified. I wonder if that could be part of the reason I react to E!

      I am definitely being careful with the amount of E I eat now, even in natural foods! I ate a HUGE carton of blackberries yesterday and within about 15 minutes I had to take a Benadruyl because my throat got tight and I was wheezing. A quick google search told me that blackberries are very high in Vitamin E- UGH! So weird. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though, just like the other allergies.

      Thanks for your input, I’m going to do more research on the Vitamin E/GMO connection.

  4. I’m allergic to the modified food starch in many vitamins. It makes me feel sick. I’m allergic to propylene glycol which is related to propylene oxide which is what a lot of the food starch is modified with. Chemicals are in eeeeeeverything, grrrrr

    • Ughhh it’s so frustrating!!!! I sometimes think people like you and I would have been better off in the old times- living off the land!

      Oh wait…that asthma attack when I was a few months old would have killed me. Never mind, thank God for modern medicine haha. But still- food wise? Wish we could go back a few centuries.

      • or live in France or Italy! They know what’s up with food there. Isn’t funny how vitamins can be BAD :-/ And yes, agreed – if we didn’t have the testing procedures that are available, I’d definitely be dead by now! I’ve told Matt more than once that if the world turns to anarchy and I, let’s say, lose my glasses, he’s going to have to tether me to himself so I don’t lose him and also ward off any allergens at the same time. Sounds like fun, right?? lol

  5. Wow! So glad you are feeling better, and that you were able to figure the whole thing out! My sons have many many allergies, and I never knew that a vitamin could cause allergic reactions. And good for you for ‘following you intuition’ – it will never let you down πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much, Lynda! Sorry you have allergy-stricken boys, I know that can be stressful! Nowadays though, it seems like there is at least one kid in EVERY family with a lot of allergies. Out of my three sisters, I am the lucky one who took ALL for the team. They have none, haha!

      I hope your boys don’t develop any surprise allergies like this one!

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  7. Oh my goodness, I am sooo sorry to hear of your reaction and all the suffering! It’s almost like it’s sometimes not the actual physical side effects that are so maddening (although what you described sounds terrible, I’ve gone through similar flares where my face was completely puffy and red and looked like a lobster) but the sporadic-ness and just NOT KNOWING what causes these things. But, it’s great that you seem to have figured out another trigger! Weird that you mention you getting worse on Sunday in a comment, that ALWAYS happens to me too and has happened for the past year or two. I’m not sure if it’s hidden stress from having to go to work or what. I love that no matter what craziness your skin throws at you, you never lose that fabulous sense of humor!

    Your post made a little lightbulb go off in my head – there was actually a time when I also was avoiding Vitamin E because I suspected I was sensitive to it, but then just like you, I figured, “Hell, I can’t be allergic to a naturally occurring vitamin!” And actually I use grapeseed oil on my skin every day that has…..vitamin E! If this is my issue too, no WONDER I never get better. Hang in there girl and I hope your allergic reaction settles down quickly!

    • You are EXACTLY right, the physical side effects are awful but not knowing exactly what is causing it makes me want to rip my hair out and hide under a rock. SOOOO frustrating. To be honest I’m still feeling a little like that. I keep having this horrible thought “what if it WASN’T the vitamin E causing the reaction?” I can still feel some swelling today and I haven’t had vit E on in almost 5 days, so it definitely makes me wonder. I know though that it is probably still in my system and I just need to give it time to get out.

      SO weird that you used to avoid vitamin E too. Hmmmmmm. I wonder if that IS causing your skin to break out even more right now!??! Try going off of it, it’ll be interesting to see! What moisturizer do you use? I have now switched to Cerave and I’m liking it so far.

      • I think you shouldn’t worry. So easy to say right? But the rash, like a poison ivy reaction,as it is the same body response, can last one to two weeks, even three. Does that cheer you up? πŸ˜‰

        Anti-histamines may help to speed things along.

      • Well, after I read your post I went through and looked up all ingredients on stuff I use on my face – I was using grapeseed oil (with added vitamin e, yay) and Vanicream moisturizer with sunscreen which is formulated specially for sensitive skin. But that has vitamin E too. So, I’m going to try other things – last night I stopped using any of those and I’m just using Vanicream lotion which again is made for sensitive skin. I tried CeraVe last year but I had a bad experience, not sure if it was coincidental or actually the CeraVe – I got a crazy flare on my face after a few days of using it. My dermatologist thought maybe it was the parabens. But, I have heard great things about it for other people and it doesn’t have many ingredients, so I’m glad it is working for you!

  8. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as a β€œmake believe allergy”. (people used to tell me that about my gluten allergy) “it’s all in your head” etc. But I am happy that you figured out what you were allergic to so now you can focus on getting better!

    • I have to agree with you! I definitely do start getting some weird food phobias after awhile (it’s probably only natural when you have SO many food allergies) but I agree, there aren’t “make believe allergies.” I hate how doctors sometimes make you feel like you are inventing them. Do you have Celiac Disease? My mom has it, so rough!

    • Thank you!! Yes, it definitely feels like a relief to know what was going on! Now to learn how to avoid something that is so present in our foods/beauty products/toothpaste/everything?! Still, it feels great to KNOW about the allergy.

  9. Skin allergic responses to vitamin e are just what you described. At the contact points, where the vitamin e / Tocopherol comes in contact with it. Almost like a poison ivy reaction, where the skin swells and becomes itcy in severe cases. I suspect it would make your eczema flair also as you have deduced.

    Eating it, unless in huge doses, should cause you no harm. Points to the should again, With those with severe allergies, You could go into anaphylactic shock, psssst, you want to avoid that.

    The rash sounds like rosacea.

    • Wow, thank you for your insight!! How do you know so much about this allergy/reaction type? It was exactly like poison ivy on my face, you are right. The interesting thing is I have been researching foods high in vitamin E and I am already allergic to so many of them! Probably not a coincidence. Things seem to make a lot more sense now as to why sometimes I’ll have “random” minor allergic reactions for “no reason.” Hmmmph. Can one’s body operate okay without any vitamin E? Seems so odd.

      And you are right on about the rash around my mouth, two different doctors have suggested rosacea in the past few weeks so I’m going to see a specialist for that. Makes sense as to why the steroids only make it worse.

      • How do I know? too much medical background. πŸ™‚

        Do you have any reddish patches on your cheeks or forehead?

        You need a moisturizer that is basic, nothing with any aromas or additives. Not sure where you are or what is available there, Vaseline makes some that are good. Use them lots, at least twice a day, avoid hot showers on your face, I bet after one you feel irritation.

        If Rosacea you will probably get a script for Metrocream. or gel. It is often quite soothing, but the first week or so it seems to make it worse and then works. Not always though, just sometimes. Moisturizers that are hypoallergenic will work great, soothing that burning feeling.

        The reaction to your face is really the same as poison ivy, the body produces histamines the same as they do with poison ivy or even bee stings. It is an allergic reaction.

        E is good for the body, perhaps you can find dietary sources that don’t cause you problems.
        If you are allergic though, and it surely looks that way, I would approach it with great caution, you don’t want your throat swelling.

        Do almonds bother you?

        If you are finding that the E rich foods are causing you problems, then cut them out.

        Does the body need it. hmmm well yes. It boost the immune system. We of course find many vitamins do things that surprise us, warding of cancer, heart disease and such. It is in a lot of foods though, perhaps in normal dietary doses you won’t be bothered but still get enough.

        Allergies have a way of going away too.

      • Hmm, no reddish patches on forehead but little ones on my cheeks. Those have gotten better as the allergic reaction has faded though.

        I’ve been using Cetaphil religiously all over my body twice a day but seeing as how it has Vitamin E, I just switched to Cerave. Seems to be helping, although it doesn’t feel quite as moisturizing as the Cetaphil did. I may try another brand w/o vitamin E to see if it does the job. As of now, I’m pretty much needed to apply the Cerave cream every few hours to keep the dryness under control. I’ll look into the Vaseline ones!

        Several months ago, a doctor gave me Metro Gel for the rash around my mouth and it got REALLY bad and swollen. I had a feeling it was because I am very allergic to several antibiotics, and it is an antibiotic gel. As of now, I have these anaphalyctic allergies:
        Sulfa drugs, penicillin, biaxin, ceclor, eggs, seafood, all nuts. I’m also allergic to neosporin! It seems my body hates all things antiobiotic related, not sure why. Maybe I should give the Metro Gel another try though. If it gets worse before getting better, maybe I just need to hang in there a few days. Although having another week like this one is not too appealing! :-p

        I think your advice is good regarding the food. I’m still going to eat things with vit E, probably just not REALLY hight vit E foods. It’s funny because cooked spinach is very high and on my last allergy test, I showed up as being allergic to spinach. I can’t help but wonder if that is why.

        I wish my allergies would fade, but they are only growing as I get older! I was born with the egg/nut allergies but my other ones have developed in the past few years. Hoping that maybe my body will recalibrate one of these days and realize all these wonderful foods are not my enemy haha πŸ™‚ A girl can dream!

      • nods, food allergies, any allergies can suck. well do suck. lol. Some can be scary though.

        Peanut allergy I am guessing? scary ones?

        the metro creams often seem to worsen for a week or so. Which makes it hard to continue. Perhaps a soothing moisturizer applied with it, may help that. But if allergic to antibiotics, then maybe it is the wrong treatment.

        A compound can be mixed for you that may work, you need a dermatologist.

        eeps no flu shots either.

      • Yeah, they sure keep life interesting. I try to not throw myself a pity party over it though. I mean if my BIGGEST challenge medically is having to cook all my own meals and just be careful in general, then I have it pretty good. Amazing, actually. I don’t have to go to chemotherapy once a week, or be on dialysis. My heart is insanely healthy and my lungs, even with asthma, are in great shape. I am blessed.

        Yep, peanut allergy! It’s not the really scary kind though where I go into anaphylactic shock just by smelling it. THAT would be miserable. My scariest allergy (to me at least) is the egg one. Egg is snuck into so many different foods! On my birthday a few years ago I had to be rushed to the ER because the restaurant had put raw egg in my MARTINI!!! It blended right in and I never would have dreamed that a martini would have egg so I didn’t even think to ask. It happened again at Chili’s once, my margarita had egg in it. Obviously now I even ask the server about secret ingredients even before accepting a glass of water!

        So that being said, when my deadly seafood allergy presented itself I decided I would no longer eat out at restaurants. Too much cross contamination! Hey, at least I’m a cheap date now πŸ™‚ Just give me a bag of raisins and a glass of water and I’m happy!

        I’m going to see my derm (and rosacea specialist) in about a week, can’t wait to hear his input! Honestly my biggest challenge is getting new doctors to understand the extent of my allergies. When I tell them the antiobiotics I’ve reacted to they look at me like I’m crazy and I’m making it up. It’s definitely disheartening, but I’ll stand my ground. If not, they can just pay for my hospital bills πŸ˜€

        And you are correct, no flu shot EVER!! Which has made me against the flu shot altogether actually. All my friends who get the flu shot get majorly ill and I’m the only one who is fine. The only one who didn’t get the shot haha. Funny how that happens sometimes!

      • well eating at a restaurant, though can be fun, It is annoying when you can cook a better meal at home at a fraction of the price. (lol, student budgeting) But when it is your health, omg, then yes raisins and water. lol.

        oh oh, martini.. not great for eczema. now that really sucks. πŸ˜‰ raw eggs in them? blech.

        your Doc is not your boss. Calm explanation by you to them, A prepared list or even letter is good that you can give them, all the things you have discovered and are or think you allergic too. Then you don’t forget anything. They read it, you haven’t left anything out and things proceed from there.

    • Unfortunately not, but then again it is hard to tell since I was doing the yogurt in conjunction with the Vitamin E! Maybe next week when I’m totally cleared up (hopefully) I’ll start the yogurt mask again! It DID feel really good!

  10. Wow! I have never heard of Vitamin E allegy… clearly it exists though!

    I used to get a similar sounding rash around my mouth years and have been lucky enough not to have it for ages now. I put it down to stress. Whenever it broke out I was highly stressed and no creams ever worked on it. Oh boy did it sting and hurt like crazy… maybe you are onto something with this vitamin E. I’m going to check my skin care creams now πŸ™‚

    • So weird, right?

      You know, I think that stress is definitely a contributing factor to my rash, too! I HAVE noticed that it always gets worse on Sunday nights, right before the work week starts again. Lame! I’m going to continue to work on some de-stressing activities and stop the vit E lotions/soaps, hopefully it will help!

  11. Oh, man. So sorry to hear you’re puffy! I totally had a similar experience, but never swelled up. I am often deficient in vitamin B12. When it was first discovered, I was given the B12 shot and got red/acne-like patches + skin rash. I was told there’s NO WAY I could be allergic to a vitamin, but to be safe, that I should try supplements instead of the shots. The supplements made me itchy, gave me headaches and same patches on my skin. I went to two allergists who both said it was impossible that the B12 was the culprit, and that they don’t even have a way to test it since they don’t have B12 as one of those liquid things they could dip the needle into when they test you. SOOOOO on my third allergist visit (third doc referral, fun) I was a smarty pants and brought (dun dun dun!!) LIQUID B12 drops. And asked the allergy man to include it in my test, as a bonus. My arm swelled up immediately upon contact!! He pretty much called me a genius and a medical miracle (weirdo) since apparently this isn’t common.

    So, moral of the story?

    Vitamins are evil.

    Very evil.

    Now excuse me, it’s time to go take my multi.

    (Hope you feel better!)

    • Oh my word, what a crazy story!! And it definitely makes me feel less crazy haha! Okay so if you’re allergic to vitamin B12, can you still eat foods that contain it? Because I know a lot of foods do!! That is so awesome that you stuck to your guns and proved to your doctors that you had the allergy. Sometimes us patients are not COMPLETELY crazy! What do you do now to prevent coming into contact with B12?

      • I can still eat foods with B12, and I’ve been managing small doses of the supplement..(about 1000 times less than the liquid version was) to try and get my levels back up (it’s crazy because I need them to increase, but I am allergic to the only things that can really help)…Allergies are weird stuff!! But we definitely need to listen to our bodies, sometimes more than we listen to doctors.

  12. Oh noo…I am glad you are doing a bit better…but oh geez…that sounded scary …and just plain uncomfortable and downright miserable!

    So …when the effects of the Vitamin E wash goes away…and you stop using a body wash containing E …do you think the rash will basically stop? I hope so.

    • Thanks, Katie! Ugh it was one of the worst weeks EVER! Hoping to leave the house today for the first time in 5 days! What a mess.

      I’m hoping that soon I will start to de-puff. It’s funny, even being on all the steroids/Benadryl, I keep having waves of continued allergic reaction/swelling. My scienc-ey fiance tells me that because I was putting the thick vitamin E gel on twice a day for a week straight, it is probably still being absorbed into my body even though I’ve stopped it. Great! However stopping it has DEFINITELY helped the rashes on my face. I am now on a vitamin E free cleansing routine so I’m hoping it really helps!! Time will tell.

    • So weird, right? I mean, it had to be the Vit E, haven’t done anything else new!! I’m going to bring some liqued vitamin E to the allergist soon and have them do a skin test to see if I react. Although, I don’t trust those allergy tests too much. It seems like every time I get one done they say “well this showed positive, but it doesn’t mean you’re allergic to it, there is no way to know” OR “it says negative, but it could be a false negative.” Umm…then what is the point of the test? Oh allergies, always a fun journey haha!

  13. Oh my goodness, that sounds miserable and scary!! I’m glad you got to the bottom of the vitamin e mystery…just sorry that it was such a severe reaction. I’m so glad my son doesn’t require steroids anymore. As far as I know he never had any issues with them but as a 1-4 year old I doubt that he could have communicated something like that.

    • You’re exactly right, miserable and scary haha! The weird part is I’m still puffy! I would have thought for sure 2 days of high dosages of steroids and Benadryl would knock this bad boy out. Oh well, patience patience. I’m so happy your son doesn’t have to take steroids anymore either. They are a blessing, but can definitely have some nasty side effects!! However, my doctor told me a lot of people don’t get the same painful side effects that I do…so I’m sure your sweet baby was just fine on them πŸ™‚

  14. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. 😦

    I am glad that you have some amazing friends and a fiancΓ© that do what they can to help you.

    At least you’re learning what to avoid right before the wedding, too. πŸ˜‰

    xo

    • Thank you, I’m so glad I’m figuring this out now, too. Ya hear that body, you’ve got 7 weeks to get your act together!! πŸ˜‰

      Hope you and the bun are doing well πŸ™‚

  15. so sorry to hear you went through this and hope that you’re feeling better soon. i’ve been dealing with some very very un-fun women’s health issues the past few weeks and my doctor not taking things seriously or understanding my body have been at the root. my lesson learned has been to trust my gut and get second opinions.

    get well and get lots of rest! Law and Order CI has been on loop bedside as i recover. πŸ™‚

    • Oh no, I hate that you’re dealing with some not so great woman issues. Those are rough. It is soooo frustrating when your doc is stubborn and doesn’t LISTEN to you. I know they get their fair share of crazy patients, but not all of us are lunatic hypochondriacs. Are you thinking about switching doctors? In may I had a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst that lasted 6 months so not sure what you’re dealing with, but I can share your pain!!

      You’re exactly right, sometimes you’ve gotta go with your gut. (Face palm) I should have gone with my gut and not rubbed vitamin E all over my face haha. Oh well I learned a lot from it.

      Law and order is a great idea, however I’m more of a SVU girl myself. Kinds makes me feel like a creep to admit that haha.

      • Oy! what you had sounds awful! So sorry to hear about that! The doctors still don’t know what’s up – I was diagnosed with Endometriosis but as i said, my doc is just not treating the flare up with the seriousness that i or my other doctors would expect. Lucky for me, my boyfriend’s father is a OBGYN so i’ve been talking to him and he’s going to take a second look at all my test results. talking with him about my uterus is certainly not something i thought i’d be doing! guess i can check that one off the bucket list πŸ™‚

        don’t make yourself feel bad for the reaction! just nice to know that our gut sometimes knows best. good application for the future. i’ve really had to learn to speak up more about my health. i mean, as a child, we are told doctors know everything…turns out they can be wrong and we can know our body closer. i know you’re already familiar with this, but i’m just learning it now and it’s a bit of a revelation.

        coincidentally, i’m a recent convert from SVU to CI, haha. Ah, Stabler and Olivia rule!

      • Ouch, I’ve heard how miserable/painful endometriosis is. How frustrating!! And I had to laugh out loud about discussing your uterus with your boyfriends father. Hey, at least he isn’t your OBGYN!! EEEK!! hahaha.

        I think you are exactly right, we are trained to follow everything the doctors say and just nod and swallow the pill, but we need to listen to our bodies, too. I like your way of thinking, I think it’s healthy perspective.

        Okay MAYBE I will give CI a try! It will probably make me feel like less of a perv. I can’t help but feel weird about constantly watching episodes about sexual abuse, haha.

  16. This sounds like GREAT news! (No, I am not crazy, I read the whole post.) The rash and misery is not great, but now you have a great basis for how to avoid it in the future. Knowing what you are allergic to is half the battle. And hey, at least you got all this out of the way now, and not during your wedding! Good luck!

    • You’re exactly right, pinning the allergy is sometimes the hardest thing to do. And I don’t really trust allergy tests anymore. I could not be happier that I figured this out now, I can’t imagine feeling like this before the wedding! Still a little worried because I’ve been on steroids and Benadryl for two days and still swollen, but maybe just need to be patient. Thanks for the comment! πŸ™‚

  17. Oh wow, that’s crazy! Glad the steroids at least helped your skin. My allergist was telling me the other day that she sees so many cases of acute psychosis from steroids (oral). They make me crazy, too (though, not psychotic crazy).

    From what I’ve read of Vitamin E, it can be derived from different things (wheat, corn, soy, etc.)? Are you allergic to one of those three things, which could cause you to react to the Vitamin E? Or is it just Vitamin E itself? Man, that’s crazy. Hopefully figuring it out though will help your skin clear up!

    • acute psycholsis, holy crap!!! I definitely felt like I was on the verge of that last night haha. I probably looked like a heroin addict needing a bump. I was itching my whole body and shaking and crying LOL. Poor Isaac. Today the side effects of the ‘roids don’t seem to be too bad, though. A long time ago my doctor told me that the reason I’m in pain is b/c my brain is being tricked, for some reason the steroids are telling my brain that I’m in pain EVERYWHERE. Silly brain, STFU! lol

      Anyway, I’m hoping this tidbit of information will help my skin, too. I know it’s ridiculous to even think this but I keep wondering “oh my gosh what if I stop using vitamin E lotions and I suddenly don’t have eczema anymore!?” haha, fat chance. But it’s a fun thing to fantasize about.

      And that is interesting about the things E can be derived from. I know I have little issues (mild itching) with corn sometimes, but I don’t think I’m allergic to wheat or soy. But it’s definitely something to think about!! As of now, I feel like it’s just the vitamin E itself b/c I’ve had it in so many different forms and it’s caused a reaction each time. I may ask my allergist to do a skin test with it though to make sure! Although, I wonder if they even do allergy tests for vitamins lol. We will see!

    • Thanks, Jonathan!! I am going to avoid it like the plague! I am so happy that you’ve never had to experience anything like this either. Allergies/sensitivities can be so frustrating and upsetting. But we all have our own challenges, I’m thankful for all my blessings!!

    • Yeah, that’s how I’m feeling too! It is definitely silver lining. Using creams/soaps/chapstick that just keep making me feel worse has been so frustrating. Maybe THIS is why. Who knows, time will tell! Thanks so much for the well wishes!

  18. Oh my gosh that is horrible! I was so hoping the new doctor’s idea would bring good news, but BOOO I was so wrong!! A vitamin E allergy sounds even harder than a gluten allergy. At least gluten is just food!

    • It is definitely going to be challenging, but if it helps my skin/health I’ll do anything! The worst part is trying to figure out all of the different words for “vitamin E”, there are hundreds I feel like!! Maybe I should be a chemist, that might make my life easier haha. I’ll understand all this crap!

  19. Oh no! I normally like the plan of attack osteopathic doctors have, too, but this outcome sounds miserable! I hope you feel better, soon! πŸ™‚

    • In my DO’s defense, she had no idea about my weird vitamin E feelings when she told me to use the vitamin E gel. However I have a feeling that even if she DID know about them, she would have said that Vitamin E probably wasn’t the culprit. It just seems so odd, haha!

      Thanks!

  20. Wow, I am sorry that you have had to go through all of this! I hope you find some relief soon.

    And I am a redhead with high forehead. Rocky would have done well try to the trendy bangs look.

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