My girlfriend is allergic to something around or about me, please help!

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Hello everyone. I’m posting this on behalf of my girlfriend who is having an issue related to allergy whenever she is around me or my house. I know this is a bit of a wall of text but please keep reading, we can use all the help we can get at this point. Also I’m posting this with her consent.  We are in a long distance relationship. I live in Europe, she lives in Asia. This has been going on for the past 2 years now, and during that time we’ve visited each other 4 times, usually for several weeks. The first time I went to Asia we met up and for the about 2 weeks that we were together nothing was out of the ordinary, no allergic reaction whatsoever.

The second time we met up she came to Europe, and that’s when problems started. After about a few days she started to develop an allergic reaction. The symptoms were: hives or rash on her face, ears, parts of her  arms and legs with quite severe itching, to the point when she had difficulty sleeping and couldn’t stop scratching. It looked like small red bumps. Also her eyes were extremely itchy to the point where it was hard for her not to keep rubbing them. After some time her private parts also got itchy. The itch was pretty much unbearable so we went to get some creams and medicine at the drug store.  I’m not sure what kind of cream that was, but the medicine was the antihistamine ‘’cetirizine’’. Also we got a kind of eye drops that provided only temporary relief.  All of these things had minimal effect as the rash continued throughout that visit. As soon as she left here, her symptoms gradually disappeared over the period of 1 to 2 weeks.

We started thinking about what could be the cause. We thought it may have been my fabric softener or detergent, so from that point on I changed to exclusively 100% neutral allergen free detergent so that that could not be the cause on my next visit.

The third time we met up I went to Asia. Apparently I was carrying the allergen again because after 1 or 2 days her symptoms started appearing again. By this time I had been washing with the allergen free detergent for 1 or 2 months. The symptoms were exactly the same as the last time, however of somewhat lesser degree, but still enough to be very uncomfortable. To take some measures I started washing with her soaps and shampoos, and to be sure I washed all of my clothing again with her detergent. Also I avoided using any deodorants and stuff like that, despite it being in the middle of a hot summer. Also I don’t use any hair gels. Again her symptoms went away about a week after I left.

Sometime later I went to Asia again to visit. This visit was kind of bad in general as we got flu for different reasons. Despite that, her symptoms reoccurred again after a day or two,  to a similar lesser degree like last visit. She went to a doctor and got some different medicine for allergy that worked only somewhat. Again her symptoms went away about a week after I left.

Recently she got a general allergy test for the most common allergies. The results only showed around 50% chance of allergy for dogs. She has frequent contact with a dog which give her no allergic reaction. Also a very small percentage of allergy to cats. I do have cats in the house, but actually her family house has also had a cat since she was younger. She has never gotten a reaction from that cat, and no reaction recently still. So unless Asian cats and European cats differ greatly in terms of the allergens they carry, that also seems an unlikely cause. The test also showed a very small percentage for allergy to molds and fungus. As far as I know I don’t have those around my house, and I don’t see how I could have carried a sufficient amount of that to Asia in my suitcase.  Molds also seem unlikely. The test shows she is not allergic to pollen and dust mites, unlike me. I’m allergic to dust mites myself.

On the internet I’ve been reading up about allergies to a protein in semen that some people have. This also seems unlikely. For reasons we don’t really have oral or anal sex down below, with or without condom (which would also eliminate latex allergy). I can say semen has made contact with her mouth, but no allergic reaction has developed in or around her mouth which would make semen allergy unlikely.

As far as she knows she’s never had any allergic reaction to any kind of food.

I really hope the allergy is not the result of some sort of psychosomatic response. (perhaps in combination with some otherwise harmless allergen). I wouldn’t really know how we could deal with such an allergic response.

Is there maybe something we overlooked? Some other possible causes that come to mind? She will be visiting again soon and I really hope we can prevent her allergies this time. Many thanks for all the help and advice you can provide.

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  • Posted

    I was recently reminded about this post and I felt like I should give an update. Sadly me and the girl in question broke up at the beginning of 2017, hence why there have been no updates after around that time. This of course means that from my side you shouldn't count on any new clues or information regarding the problem we had at the time. The only thing I can contribute at this time is that we never found out what exactly caused the allergic reaction despite our efforts. Me and my ex are still on good terms, and after we broke up she hasn't had any similar allergic reaction. Perhaps if she ever does get a similar reaction without my presence, we might shed some more light on this particular post. The problems with the allergy turned out to be only a very minor reason in the breakup, so don't be afraid the same thing will happen in your relationship because of allergy. 

    I wish all of you out there the best of luck with your issues. 

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  • Posted

    Very glad to have found this thread - though I know most of you have not posted for a while if you do see this I would very much appreciate an update on any treatments that have worked for you! My partner and I have been together for nearly two years, before we knew each other I was totally 100% healthy but about 3 months after we started dating I've been fighting the symptoms you have all mentioned. We now live together and I fell like I'm going round in circles with being constantly itchy. VERY sore eyes and face and its really getting us both down. 

    I have been allergy tested and it came back with cats and mould - we did used to live in a mould ridden flat but have since moved but with no improvement to my condition. 

    Ive got an appointment with a dermatologist in a few weeks time, but I'm not sure they will be able to solve it as many of you have already said, all doctors have so far dismissed it. 

    Any advise much appreciated as its driving me crazy and as Im pretty sure my partner and I are for the long run I can't live with this forever!!!! 

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  • Posted

    Hi guys! I can't tell you how much of a relief it was to read this - so many of you have been through exactly what I'm going through! Whenever I see my boyfriend (we are long distance) I get terrible rashes and my eyes swell up and it takes a few days after he leaves before they go away. I thought it was his laundry detergent, but he changed it and it hasn't fixed anything. He doesn't use any products like soap or cologne I could be allergic too. I recently used a sleeping bag he used a month ago and got allergic to that, so I've ruled out any kind of lice living in his hair because they wouldn't live that long without him.

    My most recent thought is traces of medication getting out through sweat. My boyfriend is on Mirtazepine, Venfalaxine and Melatonin. Is anyone else on medication, or were they when they were in the relationship?? 

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  • Posted

    Hey! I'm sorry to hear that you guys broke up.

    So, me and my bf are in the same situation. he is from europe and im from asia. we are in a long distance, i noticed by reading all the comments that it happens a lot with the 'long distance' couples.

    So everytime we meet my bf gets these awful eyes allergies and when it progress also some rashes apper. he went to different docs about 5x. all of them laugh at our face when we say its something about me. Im not using any makeup anymore, i wash my clothes with his special detergent, i vacuum and mop his house everyday cause we thought it was the dust or maybe mold(??) that i brought with me. Well, would make no sense anyways since he been living here for years and he was fine before me. i dont wear any perfumes and nail products etc but he said shouldnt be a problem sinces his exes all used. we thought maybe because i dye my hair. i did maybe 2 months ish ago and i dont know i would do, only option (not really tho) would be shaving my head.

    we thought maybe the house i live in japan is too old and probably moldy, or houses in japan in general as theyre old. but he visited japan also before me and stayed in a old house and it was ok. this eye allergy happens exclusively when we get together. He is a sensitive person so he already uses all the special products, Im using everything the same.

    We dont really know if there were times he was ok with me or he was just being ok because he was on meds. the docs are giving him steroid drops everytime, helps but isnt aggressive?

    Anyways, ill try the hair thingy i read above and do the mite treatment and tree oil treatment. wish me luck! ill keep you guys posted. so glad i found this thread.

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  • Posted

    Hi, does anyone have anything else to follow up with? I have also been dealing with this problem with my boyfriend and I've been checking this thread since around April in the hopes of any new posts. So I have decided to finally add my own experience. If there's anyone else out there going through this and you've been checking this thread recently (or first time reading), please tell us your experiences too. I find this whole thing very bizarre.

    My boyfriend and I are also long-distance (both in Europe) and met for the first time in summer 2018. I was fine the whole first time like others have mentioned. We met for the second time over New Year's and that is where it started. Immense itchiness with red dots and patches that looked a lot like hives to me. We also tried changing washing detergent and other things. Everything we've tried ruling out hasn't made a difference. We met a couple more times, even met up in another country and it still started the first day.

    I recently went to the doctors honestly believing it's hives and allergy related, only to leave with a diagnosis of eczema and the dreaded steroid cream and expensive moisturisers. I had atopic eczema as a child so I knew of my condition previously, but it had not flared up for years. Allergic eczema is still a thing as far as I can tell and I still feel like it is allergy related as it only showed up the second time we met. My mum, however, believes that it is related to emotions as she knows that stress and anxiety can play a big part in eczema. I even ended up finding an article on a woman who had experienced eczema whenever she was around her future husband and had the rare case of eczema caused by feelings of love. Thankfully for her it eventually calmed down (when they got married). image

    This is the closest I have come to an explanation but I still have so many questions...

    My boyfriend and I are planning to close the distance within the next couple weeks and I'm slightly worried about what is going to happen to my skin. It feels like the longer we're together the worse it gets, gradually spreading to other parts of my body all the time. But I am not going to let it stop us, I just hope I find another way to deal with it aside from topical steroids as I know how damaging these are in the long term. We're hoping that it will calm down with time if its related to emotions etc, but theres so many possible causes it's near impossible to tell at the moment.

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  • Posted

    Hello everyone.

    I thought i would take my time to write this for you all to hear and hope it can be a help to yall.

    As i remember this case with the skin and the eyes were the worst ive ever experienced and I understand if ur freakin out and panicking.

    Me and my wife met in Hong kong and i then never felt anything weird with the eyes or the skin.

    1 year later i went to the philippines and this is where it started. My eyes got swollen and were itching crazy and a mucus in the eyes during nights. Itching crazy basically all over the body and scratching like an idiot until it bled daily. This started approx after 3-4 days from arrival. I went home to my country and it went away immadiately. I was completely back to normal after a week. During the hives and eye problems and tried all kinds of lotions including kortison. Nothing helped.

    1 year later she now visited me in my country and the same thing happened and i now understood that it was because of her.

    Tried everything again, doctors etc and the eyes is the worst to deal with but nothing helped.

    I had read a thread here about demodex mites and that the solution would be to use head and shoulders with selenium sulfide and also tee tree oil.

    After using the shampoo, (both of us), it all went away within a couple of days.

    After all research ive done about the mites it seems to be clear that everyone have this mites on them but some have an overflow which can cause an allergic reaction to another person. So in other words some are just immune to a certain amount but some arent.

    You might not be able to find especifically the head and the shoulders but make sure its a shampoo with selenium sulfide or for Seborrhoeic dermatitis.

    Try it and let us know if it helped.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hey guys! just an update for whoever is interested.

    for a long time my bf (now fiancé, yay!) had the allergies, so before meeting up again the doc gave him a super combo of all the anti allergy to drop daily in his eyes, twice a day. what happened is that eventually the medicine ran out and he didnt buy more and... he do not react anymore! 3 months without the meds now and his eyes are normal. what couldve be? 1) maybe because we are together for a longer time now he got used to my 'organisms' 2) the stress factor might be what triggered the allergies, he says now the we settle he feels much more relaxed about being together.

    so yeah guys, i just came to say that there is hope! maybe if you guys stick together long enough you will create anti corpus against each other hehe 😃

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    • Posted

      Hi! So happy to hear that it all worked out for you 😃 Did you ever try the selenium sulfide and tea tree oil treatment? And if so, did that seem to contribute to his symptoms disappearing? I'm in a similar situation and am worried that the treatment isn't going to work.

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  • Posted

    Hello everyone! I wanted to add my experience to this thread; my boyfriend and I found ourselves in a situation very similar to that some of you have described. We had a long distance relationship (although we do live in the same country) and I got more allergic when I was with him than I had ever previously been to anything in my life (I was previously allergic to cats, but not severely). After finding and reading through this thread we tried a shampoo with selenium disulfide and it has made a world of difference! Because it appears that some of whatever-it-is-causing-the-allergy has rubbed off on furniture I also tried putting a large plastic sheet between my bed and bed sheet, and between my pillows and pillow cases - this put an end to my nightly allergies.

    Most of all I'd like to thank whoever started this thread and those of you who replied - you have been immensely helpful to us! Thank you!

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  • Posted

    I am writing in after reading through the thread as I am in a similar situation with my man. I feel so upset and worried, because I love him so much, and I don't want my abnormal skin reactions to get in the way of our relationship to the point that we just can't be together. Like others who posted, we are currently living apart and in different places, and whenever one of us visits, my rash returns. If I can keep myself covered, and if we don't touch each other, I don't seem to break out any more than normal. I have had severe eczema for my entire life. I am

    now twenty-eight. I used and over used topical steroids for most of my

    life to avoid having any breakouts. I quit using the steroids two years ago and have since had more break outs but am learning to manage them. The eczema is sort of always there but generally very minimally. When I had sex with previous partners and was using topical steroids, I never had any reactions at all to sex or kissing or touching. Then, while with a boyfriend that I had at the time that I quit the steroids, I had severe steroid withdrawal symptoms and the worst full body rash of my life. We broke up at the time of that flare up, and it took me months to heal. Since that relationship and since quitting the steroids, I have been with three men intimately and sexually, and each time with each guy, over the course of days and nights spent together, I get the same severely itchy and painful full body rash that gets worse the longer we are in physical contact. Each of those three relationships ended up being short. I have now met someone who I want to be with and am worried that this reaction is going to make it impossible. Just visiting each other is wonderful but so draining because of the pain I end up in and the stress that induces for both of us. The rash starts as tiny red bumps in the places where we touch most, excluding my genitals, so far. I always get it the worst on my face, all over my face. My belly and arms and back are where it shows up first and is also most severe. After about four days together, it always becomes unbearable. The bumps eventually become more patchy and my skin gets more dry and starts to look more like the full blown eczema I'm used to getting. Since quitting the steroids, I simply clean and moisturize my skin frequently and manage stress well and get enough sleep and eat and drink well, and I'm able to manage it fine, except for when I'm in prolonged skin to skin physical contact with someone. I feel terrible, because he partly blames himself. I tell him that it's not him; it's me, that it has happened with other people. We both use all natural soaps and things and are pretty minimal when it comes to any extra chemicals. The only common thread I can identify between the last four men I have been with and the same reactions I have had (besides my own mysteriously faulty skin) is that they were all smokers. Each of them only smoked tobacco, not cigarettes with additives. It makes me wonder if that is a cause. I can feel their bedding and clothes and things very lightly irritating me, but it's primarily touching and being touched by their skin and hair, I feel. When it's happening, it feels like an allergic reaction. It always slowly subsides as soon as we are apart and heals over the course of a week. I'm at a loss and don't know how to handle it, and it's quite depressing.

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  • Posted

    Hello everyone. This thread has been a godsend as it solved the mystery of what my allergic reaction to my boyfriend was: Demodex mites! We wanted to share our story in the event it could help other couples.

    Like so many here have posted, every time I spent the night with my boyfriend, i'd wake up with what seemed like terrible pink eye/conjunctivitis and an itchy awful looking rash on my face, neck, chest and arms that resembled severe acne. I normally have very clear skin so this was quite distressing. At first we didnt know what it was from and thought i was allergic to his dog, or dust in the neighborhood. I had several doctors appointments and each time was prescribed various medications but nothing worked! Tried viral pink eye meds, then bacterial pink eye meds, erythromicin, a ton of OTC allergy even every brand available: Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, ~ Flonase, hydrocortisone creams, homeopathic creams for hives - nothing worked! My doctors were baffled and kept telling me it was allergy related, and had to go through a process of elimination to figure things out. At one point we even wondered if i was allergic to new furniture or (gasp!) had a semen allergy specific to him. As my boyfriend and I had a fast developing relationship, we saw each other daily so it took us a while to realize that all my symptoms stopped and would start healing on its own after 2+ days or more without seeing him. In hindsight, these were clues (doctors could not figure it out, no meds were working, symptoms dissipate when away from him) that i was not having an allergy attack but a reaction to his mites.

    He eventually found this forum when we were at wits end and had relegated ourselves to seeing each other only once a week despite wanting to live with each other. What is there to lose once you've reached wits end? We both went out to purchase the selenium sulfide 1% shampoo and did a strict regiment of using it as a body wash, face wash and shampoo for 3x showers a day for 3 days straight. We followed up by also applying tea tree oil to our eyelashes and eyebrows. 3 showers a day seems excessive but we wanted to be sure to kill as many of those buggers as possible to max out the effects. He used Head & Shoulders brand while i used Selsun Blue; both in clinical strength versions. After 3 days of scrubbing ourselves silly, we spent a night together and i woke up with no reaction whatsoever for the first time!

    We've come to learn that these Demodex mites live on most people. When there is an infestation, some people like me can be sensitive to it even though it was not on me but on my boyfriend, who apparently had no reaction to it.. These microscopic critters bury themselves in your hair follicles so they dont easily die off or wash away using regular products. These mites can also be the cause of several skin conditions like dandruff , rosacea, and blepharitis (swollen puffy eyelid). The selenium sulfide shampoo seems to drive them out of the hair follicle so that they cant reproduce and making it easier to wash them away. We read elsewhere that tea tree oil kills them so we slathered that on post shower for good measure. Unsure if both products are needed but it gave us excellent results in 3 days! Thank you to this thread for helping solve this mystery!

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  • Posted

    Hello! i just came across this and wondered if anyone has discovered the causes to their symptoms? I've been married to my husband for 4 years, together over 5. The past 2 weeks, when we are together, I itch all over. I work nights, he works days, so obviously we aren't together everyday. I've asked what he has changed, he said only fabric softener, but I would itch all the time if that were the cause. He does smoke thc, vape and weed. I'm wondering if it could be that? If he changed oils or flavors? Anyone ever heard of this?

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