By Heather Legg
I’m always finding new and weird allergies that someone has, whether it’s someone in my family, my friends, or myself. Me – I don’t just have the normal allergies like ragweed or pollen, I have things like wine and scallop combination reactions or an allergy to gold.
My gold allergy started when I was expecting my second daughter. The odd thing was, it was only on my ring finger. I had to take off my wedding and engagement rings, and even after she was born, couldn’t wear them. When I did, I was left with a bright red ring around my finger on the skin. It burned and cracked and itched. Eventually I changed my engagement ring to platinum and now wear my grandmother’s wedding band which is platinum. Another weird aspect of it, though, on my right hand, gold is fine. A few years ago, I tried gold again on my left hand (as I still have a very nice band that is in gold), and the rash came back. So much for that!
I had forgotten about this until the other day when I was with a friend of mine. She held up her hands and said, “Look!” To my surprise, she had the exact same rash on both of her ring fingers, and she described the very same thing that had happened to me. She has worn gold all of her life, but over the past few months, had been getting the same reaction. She had stopped wearing the rings, applied cortisone and tried some other things, and it got a bit better. However, when she tried to wear her rings again, the burning and redness came back with a vengeance, so she has given up on her gold, too.
I remember asking my doctor who didn’t think much of it, just prescribed some cream. The same with my friend. She is looking into getting her rings dipped or sealed or something so she can wear them (she has beautiful jewelry), but for now, she’s jewelry free.
It is always interesting to me how you think you’ve got the strangest allergy around, then come to find out, you’re not the only one. The way I found out about my scallop/wine allergy was a waiter in a restaurant who had the same odd reactions, and we compared notes on foods. He said that’s exactly what happened to him if he had scallops with wine – light headedness, dizziness, excessive yawning. Both of us could have each separately, but something about the combination…
Allergies are strange, but it helps to talk about them, because you never who may have the same thing, and maybe they have found something that works!