Health Q: Is there any way to avoid a seemingly inevitable allergic reaction?

My general question is basically this: If you know you’re going to come in contact with something that causes an allergic reaction, and know that there’s not much way to avoid it, is there action you can take to avoid having a reaction to that allergen?

The specifics of the situation are this: I’m going home to visit my parents for Easter. Every time I go to their house, I have an allergic reaction to something there. I believe it’s their water, which comes from a well and smells strongly of sulfer and other unidentifiable minerals. After showering at their house, I end up with a rash/hives on my face, mostly along the sides of my nose, and under my eyes. It BURNS like a bitch and is very angry and red. Not to mention ugly. And itchy.

I use the same things to wash my face there as I do in my house…I take them with me. I use the same moisturizer. My mother switched to my brand of laundry detergent to try to avoid the problem, but it didn’t help.

I would LOVE to figure out how to avoid this. I tried taking Benedryl ahead of shower times on my last trip, and all that did was make me sleepy. I’ve tried to eliminate all the potential allergens, but if it truly is the water, there’s really no way I can avoid it. I have to shower and wash my face while I’m there.

Does anyone have any advice for me? Please?


Dang. Can a mod change the title to HEALTH Q? I feel like an idiot!



True allergic reactions can usually be attenuated by pretreatment with a corticosteroid such as prednisone. But if you think its the water why don’t you buy one of those pitcher-style drinking water filters plus a 5 gal jug. Filter 5 gal of their well water, heat up some of it, and take a bucket bath.

I have this problem with cats–I’m severely allergic. So about 20 minutes before I get to a catloving friend’s house, I take a Chlortrimeton, and then I don’t have to spend the entire visit blowing my nose.

Benadryl just makes me sleepy, too.

However, I would say that your problem with your folks’ water doesn’t sound like a real “allergic” reaction as such, so maybe antihistamines wouldn’t help, no matter what kind. It might be just some kind of generalized irritant thing, not an “allergic” thing as such. Some people are just sensitive to sulfur and other minerals in well water.

Why not just forego the showers while you’re visiting? How long are you planning on staying? Take a few gallons of your home water for sponge baths if you’re persnickety. Hey, they’re your parents–they’re supposed to love you even if you’re stinky. :smiley: