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

    Hi, I am having very similar issues with my girlfriend to many people here. The odd thing is that it's new. We've been living together for nearly 2 years now.

    I just wash with soap and water. I don't use antiperspirant or anything similar. Nothing has changed with my clothes or washing powder.

    My girlfriend is kinda obsessed with smelling me, as odd as that sounds. Over the last few months she has developed allergies only when we're together and she smells me.

    I have a beard which I normally only wash with warm water. I guess sometimes soap might get into it. She smells my beard a lot and then her allergies because seriously bad.

    Her eyes will itch, she will rub them constantly. She will have to blow her nose a lot and she develops a headache.

    Obviously this is very worrying for us now. I hope it fixes and things can be like they were.

    Any tips or advice is welcome. It was very good to find this page as I just thought we were missing something and were the only ones.

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  • Posted

    Just wanted to say the biggest thank you to everyone on this thread. I’m in the UK and have been allergic to my husband since I met him - so 9 years. He married me knowing we would have to sleep separately. I was also allergic to my boyfriend before that and the illness killed that relationship, my mental health and my career at the time. About 6 years ago, I stopped googling what this might be as it was fuelling my anxiety, but just thought I’d have another go and found this. And treating the demodex mites has worked. I can't quite believe it and am honestly so grateful. I wish doctors were more informed about it and could have helped me sooner.

    We used selenium sulphide in the form of Selsun 2.5% shampoo (the medicated Head and Shoulders and tea tree didn’t work for us - I guess it wasn’t strong enough). Selsun twice a day for three days fixed the issue completely, and my husband now uses it once a week as maintenance.


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  • Posted

    i have been suffering with a similar situation but i am the one that people are allergic to. its horrible. ive been suffering for 2 years now. doctors cant figure it out they just tell me its undertermined or its just drt skin even though i use all the cereve products they tell me to use. ive been treated for a few things that didnt turn up any results. my skin is super itchy from my head to my toe and sometimes burns. the only thing that helps is an rx ketoconazole 2% shampoo. people itch way less on days i shampoo and let it sit on my scalp for 5 minutes. i believe its yeast related. sebhoreic dermatitis or something but my derm. says its not contagious and cant cause people to itch. maybe its something you can bring up to your dr and see what they think. please let me know anything you figure out. its pretty miserable living life not knowing whats wrong with you. im humiliated all the time especially in my profession where i am in close contact with on average 5 people a day. would love prayers too for answers and a solution. thank you

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  • Edited

    I have had to comment on this post as i think it is vital...even of it helps just one couple or person!! I came across this forum by typing in the computer can i be allergic to my partner. So my story starts like this. I had my 1st covid jab on the 30th of March 2021, and on that same week met my new partner for the 1st time ( great right) Well 5 days after my injection and after meeting my new partner i started with a terrible itchy rash on my neck and chest, very itchy and this progressively got worse over the course of 2 weeks, but at the same time i had been still seeing my new partner. I just thought it was the injection had to take some shifts off work as very itchy not sleeping. The rash wasn't getting any better spread to my face and red eyes swollen (but not very) but very sore. I was taking antihistamines daily. After speaking to the nurse i was given a steroid cream t which did improve my neck and face, informed by nurse to take citerazine three times daily. I'm 4 weeks in with no improvement and all the while meeting my new partner at this point i am thinking this is not the injection is this my partner because i still had awful sore eyes and very itchy and I've never had experienced anything like this in my life. So basically i looked into this Domotex and the treatment and thinking yes maybe it's my partner. So i was very lucky i have some medical experience and spoke to my nurse at my GP's and explained everything as she was still going to just give me steroid cream and said it was dermatitis. So she listened to me and said alright lets give this treatment a try (as she was really routing for me and my new partner haha) So i obtained tea tree eyewash off Amazon (do not put straight 100% pure tea tree oil on your eyes) Selsun 2.5 selenium sulfide (Head and shoulders clinical strength unavailable) (do not get selsun blue as selenium sulfide is not an ingredient in there) I asked the nurse for a course off Antibiotics (Metronidazole 400mg oral) So me and my partner haven't seen eachother for nearly a week i am 4 days into treatment and i am still itchy but my symptoms are 95% improved. Now you maybe thinking well when you see your partner it is going to happen again, well my partner who is amazing is doing same treatment ( even though not symptomatic) as previous posts have said. Daily washes with shampoo for 3 days straight, then twice weekly for another week, then weekly after that continuously, tea tree eyewash twice daily and antibiotics for 7days three times a day must be Metronidazole. Fingers crossed this will solve the problem and me and my partner can finally not worry about me waking up with sore eyes or any rash. I just want to say thankyou so much for this post because i believe without this forum i would still be in the same position.

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  • Posted

    Your girlfriend may not be allergic to the food she eats but she may be allergic to your sweat after you've eaten them. Maybe try changing your diet to fit what she normally eats. And then try switching to a really bland diet and gradually build back in one foot at a time.

    And shampoo has all kinds of chemicals in it, while soap has emulsifiers and perfumes which many people are allergic to. Neither of these products is neutral. If it's on your skin, it'll transfer to hers. Throw in some extra heat and sweat and that'll exacerbate any irritant already there.

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  • Edited

    hello everyone, I am really glad to have found this post because my partner is also experiencing very similar reactions as mentioned in this thread. A little background on our situation, we are also doing a long-distance relationship (both in the same country) and I have visited her 3 times within the past 5 months, and every visit caused her to have reactions. She has eczema and also several allergies (dust mites, pet dander, mould, etc.) for a little bit of context. First visit, she developed symptoms after our second night together (bumps, itchiness, burning, hives, all of which were mostly on the face and neck as well as eye itchiness). After second visit, symptoms came up after our first night and same exact reactions but to a lesser extent since I was only with her for a day. Between the 2nd visit and the 3rd visit, we decided to switch things up. We initially thought the causes were beard burn (since I had a patchy beard at the time) so it was discussed to grow it out since I can't cut it due to relgious reasons. I also switched all my products to the ones that she uses (moisturizer, detergent, lip balm, and also fragrance free products). On the third visit, she only had the case of itchy, watery and red eyes so we are currently trying to figure out what could have caused this reaction. We are thinking that it was because of the pet dander on my clothes since I have a shih tzu dog, but it is difficult to conclude that since shes been around many dogs before and had not gotten then reactions. After reading through this thread, I guess I will look into the demodex mites. Hopefully if she doesnt break up with me again (already happened once) and lets me see her again, we will try the selenium sulfide with tea tree oil to see if this solves our problem. Hopefully this works for us and everyone here as I am grateful to everyone that has shared their experiences with this bizarre problem. Ill try to post an update soon

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  • Posted

    Hi all! Adding another story to this thread to hopefully help anyone else who is allergic to their partner (or so it may seem). When I started seeing my now boyfriend, I did not have any issues. He moved to a new place and after that, I started experiencing pink eye-like symptoms every time we spent the night together. My eyes were bloodshot, my lids were dry and swollen, and I had severe conjunctivitis. I noticed that if we hung out outside or just got dinner, I was fine.

    I was tested for STDs, general allergies, and a bacterial eye infection. I took oral and topical antibiotics, Zyrtec, Benedryl, Flonase, and steroid drops, but nothing worked. After finding this thread we decided to try tea tree and selenium sulfide to cure Demodex mites. I used Clinical Strength Head & Shoulders and he used Selsun Blue. We both washed our hair twice a day for 3 days before seeing each other. After this, we spent the night together and I woke up for the first time with pus-free eyes!

    We've only just discovered this cure so I can't speak to upkeep but it sounds like it's best to continue using the shampoo in your routine at least once a week. I've also added tea tree eyelid wipes to my routine. They're ophthalmologist recommended for people with allergies or those fighting Demodex mites. Tea tree is antifungal and antibacterial so it helps to prevent any flare-ups and kill any mites that may try to resurface. Hope this helps and best of luck - I'm confident you'll find an answer so hang in there!!

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