I’m not allergic to food or animals but I am allergic to dust, sweat, strong smells and cigarette smoke. I’ve mentioned before about my atopic eczema. If I was allergic to food I could choose what to eat. But when it comes to fragrances, there are things and places that are difficult to avoid. When you’re around people, there’s always someone who wears too much perfume. Or a smoker who has just been outside. That’s the worse smell ever, a person who has just smoked. I can hardly breathe if someone like that is close by. When smoking was still allowed in pubs and cruise ships, my skin reacted to the smoke. It got itchy and I had dry skin for days. Luckily, they forbid smoking inside and now it’s much nicer to travel on ships. Except my skin still gets dry but that’s because of the bedclothes in the cabins that are washed with a strong detergent.
I can’t sweat so running and other “sweaty” things should be avoided. If I do run, my skin becomes itchy and it’s really unpleasant. That’s why I hate it if I’m late and I have to run. I can’t do physical work. Any job where you have to wash your hands often or use strong detergents is bad for me. Even hot weather makes my skin itch. I can’t stay in the sun for too long either. In winter the eczema is the worse. In the summer it’s not that bad. Some people think it’s contagious but it’s not. It doesn’t look very nice but you won’t get it if you touch someone. My allergy is mild compared to what others might have. Some have it on their hands but luckily I haven’t. Mine is mostly on my face and arms. Sometimes my face is so red, that I’m not very willing to go outside. I use an emollient cream which seems to work. Moisturizers that doesn’t contain alcohol is good for me. I have to use fragrance-free products but luckily there’s quite a lot to choose from. Wearing wool on bare skin makes me itchy. When I was younger, I was so embarrassed about having eczema on my arms so I wore long-sleeved shirts all summer. As I got older I noticed wearing short sleeves made it better. It’s the sweat that makes the skin itchy.
House dust and especially during cleaning makes my nose run. I begin to sneeze and sometimes I get 24-hour flu because of it. That’s the reason I don’t like dusting. Dust also makes my face itch. The dust outside in the spring also gives me mild reactions but not as much as inside. Sometimes I think maybe I should hire a cleaner because of my condition but I don’t like strangers touching my things. Besides, housekeepers cost money and I rather clean my flat myself. Anyone with an allergy of any kind knows life isn’t peachy but you learn to live with your imperfections.