To Eat Or Not To Eat? Dealing With Food Allergy-Related Rashes
Eating. Nourishment. Usually, a pretty easy thing to do. You just shove food in your mouth, chew and swallow. After that, you feel full and hopefully good. But, have you ever eaten something that made you feel horrible afterward? Maybe even something so toxic and inflammatory that it made your skin look worse after digesting it?
Well if so, you might have a food allergy. I am someone who has had tons of experience with this. Like sleeping and bathing, just eating food was a huge trial for someone as sensitive as me and skin as reactive as mine.
The consequences of an unhealthy diet
When I was little, my mom failed me and let me eat all the pizza, burgers, and candy I wanted. She is from the Philippines and lived in poverty in a rural community growing up and when she immigrated to the US, she started working and was so happy to be able to spoil me the way she couldn't be spoiled when she was a kid. This is something that I keep in mind sometimes when I feel bitter that she didn't enforce a more healthy diet for me. She didn't know any better and she just liked seeing me happy in enjoying the food that I ate. But it definitely had consequences.
Allergic reactions and eczema
Neither she nor I knew that I would be so sensitive and empathic, triggered by any and all levels of toxicity in my food or cosmetic products. So when I would eat food that was inflammatory like pizza and candy, I would experience intense allergic reactions. The pain would feel at first very hot wherever the rash was going to be, followed with a sensation similar to boiling water but I can only guess that maybe it was my blood bringing the inflammation to the surface which would then become itchy, and the next thing I knew I would scratch my skin.
Crusty, oozing, cracking eczema
Sometimes it would bleed or blister clear fluid and after scratching, it would dry up and feel very crusty and sometimes sharp. Sometimes, depending on the location, it would be prone to cracking from different parts of my body that had folds or curves. Another sort of pain that I would feel would be confusion and paranoia because I didn't realize what or why it was happening at the time. I also felt guilty because I knew my allergic reactions and rashes made my mom feel embarrassed.
Inflammation from food allergy
On top of all of this, my skin would also get quite swollen. When I was younger I used to think that I was overweight, but actually the inflammation and swelling that I would experience from food allergies made me look a lot bigger than I actually was. And then my mom would get upset at me for looking overweight and damaged from my rashes, yet she would continue to get all kinds of junk food for me to eat. But that's a whole other issue that is separate yet also connected to this experience.
Have you ever experienced a food-related allergy that resulted in a rash? If so, what does it feel like for you? And how do you deal with it?
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