I’ve decided to write about this because of:
- How relevant it is
- How mysterious it is
- How emotional it is
- How tragic it is
I am literally going to write about my latest allergy reaction.
And I am demanding you to read about it.
Before you decide to click away, let us just hold hands and hope this shall never happen to us ever (again, if applicable).
Ok feel free to leave if this bores you.
The human body is truly a big fat (if applicable) mystery.
You see, I’ve always had a couple of strange things going on.
This sounds worse than it really is.
Growing up, I had frequent nose bleeds, frequent ringworm infections (my mother must think I’m a dirty child), frequent ankle sprains (really my fault more than nature’s)…
And also extremely poor blood circulation in my lower limbs, which explain my odd body proportions a little. Lack of exercise and poor diet explains the rest. But I’m attempting to live more healthily okay.
My point is:
How is the body built?!
It’s so strange.
Okay, I’ll let you in on a secret.
If you press on one of FBN’s nostrils, he wouldn’t be able to breathe because one side is completely blocked… He found out only recently, which is amazing, because how can you not know one of your airways are blocked?! Apparently you can.
You guys test it out on yourselves!!!!
Not on FBN, because I’ll be very mad at you (it’s a 50/50 chance just saying).
And yes I asked for permission and his response:
Are you using me to boost your blog readership??
… No so I think it is ok.
But I asked again to be sure and he said ok. So ok.
I actually wanted to share about my experience with my skin.
The first time I realised something was very wrong:
1. My sister bought a new foamy face wash. It was from Biore.
2. She loved it. She said it gave her nice smooth skin and she was very pleased with it.
3. We shared a toilet.
4. I used it because we idolise older siblings and their belongings, and it’s always exciting to use their things without them knowing.
5. My face felt like it was on fire immediately.
6. I was confused and wondered: how could my sister like this feeling on her face? Does this give smooth skin because it removes your entire face?!
7. Of course she didnt, and of course it didn’t (or rather, shouldn’t).
8. I learnt that my skin was very sensitive.
And from then on, I’ve stuck to Cetaphil and products given by the dermatologist.
Occasionally I use things that aren’t dermatologically-approved, but very seldomly.
This also means I don’t use face masks or most beauty products in the market because I don’t want my face to feel like it’s on fire. Sometimes I want to rave about cool skincare products or make-up (not really), but I don’t have the proper tools (i.e. a non-sensitive face) for them.
I am not wallowing in self-pity okay in fact I’m laughing to myself because I’m so ridiculous.
I also realised I had eczema when I had patches of dry flaky skin.
In primary school, I had them near my joints – elbows and knees…
Then they ascended and went to my shoulders…
Then it moved on to my face…
And because there’s nothing above my face on my body (I think), they couldn’t go anywhere else. So right now, flare-ups happen on my face. Not really the best place to have them, but I’ve gotten used to them.
This also led to me to have scalp psoriasis (horrifying experience I will never wish on anybody) which is an immune condition, and if you want to have an idea what it is, feel free to hit Google up.
Just felt that I needed to give some background story to the real story.
The Main Mystery
In December, after my happy Hong Kong trip, I started to have really, really tight lips.
Tight and dry.
The normal person will drink more water and apply lip balm.
I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so I drank HEAP LOADS OF WATER (I even downloaded a stupid plant-watering app: whenever you drink a cup of water, you log it into the app, and the plant grows. I gave up after one day.) and applied at least 5 different lip balms.
This went on for about a week. Nothing was improving.
I started thinking it could be an allergy reaction.
I’ve never had an allergic reaction up till two weeks ago, but thank god for Med School amirite?
Type 1 Hypersensitivity reaction…
Went to the doctor’s because nobody likes walking around with tight dry lips – it’s pretty scary also. I started to get little spots on my chin at that point, and my chin and ears were getting pretty damn itchy. My neck started to have rashes too.
Took me one week to get to the doctor’s, but the family doctor said:
Eh. Allergic reaction. Eat some Loratidine and apply this cream.
This is also why Loratidine is my favourite anti-histamine among all 3 generations because I actually have a love story and personal connection with it.
Anyway it is something obviously very common, and being a very stupid patient, I asked how long it’ll take for the symptoms to fade. Bear in mind I was still studying for CA2 at that point, and the discomfort was not nice to deal with.
She said empathetically: (not really)
Depends when you stop using whatever that’s causing the allergy!
NOW THAT WAS THE QUESTION.
WHAT WAS I ALLERGIC TO?
I didn’t even know!
I seriously had no idea ok.
Can you imagine how unsettling it is because I could be using the offending agent day after day after day without knowing it!!
Obviously I had to find out what it was.
Okay so I had to break it down.
1. The other day I went to Sephora with my sister and I got this lip scrub nonsense (serves me right I know) which I used only once. It was not the most comfortable and The Allergen struck shortly after. But I only used it once you see.
Conclusion: CANNOT BE. Since my reaction was prolonged.
2. I kept eating Korean roasted seaweed those few days. I was starting to suspect it was the seaweed because I had nothing else to blame. But I also didn’t stop eating it because what a ridiculous accusation.
Conclusion: CANNOT BE since only on my face.
3. I ate crabs a couple of times… before/during/after The Allergen struck. I was so scared my body is developing some adult allergy to shellfish. If you know how much I love crabs you can see how this is very scary for me. MY FAVOURITE THING IN THE WORLD!!!!!!
Conclusion: BETTER NOT BE if not I’ll cry. Ya so I’m still eating them when I can la. But shellfish = known to trigger allergic reactions/worsen them so I also ate them in moderation.
I still don’t know what it is.
And so the identity of The Allergen remains…
Haha I love watching that Buzzfeed series… pretty much the only thing I ever watch on Buzzfeed.
But ya I really had no idea.
Then it struck me.
I used my sister’s pimple relief cream a few times…… and I thought it was really effective (Biore Part II) and so I stole a brand new tube from her toilet.
Really huo2 gai1.
I used it the first time in Hong Kong. Once.
~ first exposure to The Allergen ~
And when I came back, I used it a couple more times whenever I had red spots.
~ second/third/fourth/fifth/you-get-it exposure to The Allergen ~
Which explains why it never really went away!
Even after the good old Loratidine/calamine lotion!
Because I was still dotting it on my red spots from time to time!!!!!!!!
So I stopped using it. My heart was beating so quickly because finally LET THESE DRY LIPS AND ITCHY FACE BE GONE.
And goodness gracious…
I really got better.
Lips felt a lot less like death and my chin/ears didn’t itch anymore.
But there were still some residual symptoms left… and I didn’t worry too much because HELLO I SOLVED THE MYSTERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They’ll be gone… right?
I think after about a week or two, my lips started feeling like death again.
At this point Im just giving up on my face already ok.
I started wearing lip balm excessively (and not just any, because the typical ones in the market set my lips on fire) which is not like me!!! I’m not a typical girly girl. I’m a girl with dying lips!!!!!
You can sense my exasperation.
Anyway right now as I’m typing this my lips aren’t so bad anymore but they’ve definitely not resumed to normal la.
I went down to see my dermatologist again because my mother cannot deal with my incessant whining anymore.
I told her the full story from the start to the end.
And she looked at me pointedly and said:
It’s not an allergic reaction.
At that point I was just like /jaw drop/
Then is it this is normal?!?!
Then she continued:
It’s just eczema.
Okay I’m going to try to contain my feelings a little bit better.
But ya, FBN was there with me and he was just enjoying the show.
She rejected “Allergic reaction” as the diagnosis because if I were to be allergic to that pimple cream, it would have been allergic dermatitis at the spots I’m applying the cream on.
And that was not the case!
But I really had all the symptoms and I believe I did have an allergic reaction… but not sure to what and I think I’ll really never know.
Like allergic reaction setting off eczema flare ups you know??
But ya it’s actually really like a Buzzfeed Unsolved episode I have no idea why I’m having such a reaction and how…
When I was first writing this post, I hadn’t gone to see the dermatologist.
So now she messed up my mystery story and I have no idea what The Allergen is…
… or if there was an allergen at all.
HAHAHA I am really just making fun of myself.
Sorry for wasting your time reading this x)
Just thought it was going to be fun writing about this!
Making light of the situation la but this is really not comfortable and I’m having neck rashes that come and go + pretty dry lips that the dermatologist blames on eczema ON TOP of my usual eczema hotspots (ya IT IS NOT A BLUSH), but I shall see how everything goes!
There was this point when NYH had really really dry lips (that red circle around his lips ahahahaha) and I made fun of him so much so I guess the point of this post is that karma really bites you in the butt and that you shouldn’t steal your older sibling’s belongings.
Don’t laugh at me ah y’all.
Light read today yes?
Hope all of you are having a great time playing/studying/doing nothing!!
Simple is good.
This week has been spent with all my lovely friends and catching up with them, and I love them so much please always stay in my life!! (Even if I didn’t meet you this week you know who you are)
Please look forward to my next post.
I think they’ll come once every two weeks.