Check Yourself for Allergies

There are a few safe things you can do to see if you have allergies.

Recently my doctor gave me some allergy medication samples to treat my allergies, even though we don’t know what they are. I asked if I could just make some simple changes to try and eliminate the triggers of my allergies within my own life, but he said that would require expensive allergy testing—and since I didn’t have insurance I couldn’t afford it.

But you know what? There are a few things we can do to see what we are allergic to. I am not telling you to eat shellfish or to roll around with bees to see if you are allergic to them—you might not make it out alive to report your findings, after all! But I am saying that we can eliminate potential triggers from our lives to see if it makes them improve. Here are a few ideas.

Remove your pets. Did you know that some people are allergic to hamsters? It’s rare but real. I am not telling you to abandon Fluffy at the corner, but get him a cozy pet sitter for a week and clean out all of his fur and toys from the house just to see what happens. Does the lack of dander make it better? Maybe your doctor could give you some kind of medication to help you be able to keep your pets and your health at the same time.

Get rid of dust in your home. Clean everything really well. Get rid of the carpet if you’re up to it—if not, try a carpet cleaner. You don’t even have to hire one of those expensive companies; just rent one for $25 at your local grocery store. Get some hypoallergenic sheets and pillowcases if you can afford them and try them out; if not, just wash them in hot water to kill any dust mites. You can also freeze them—do the same with stuffed animals—for a good 48 hours. Stuff them in a trash bag first, of course!

Perform your own scratch test. Like I said before, don’t expose yourself knowingly to something that will potentially kill you—but if you are already around pollen, it shouldn’t hurt to dab some on your skin and see if it irritates you.

Eliminate potential trigger foods. Whether it’s milk and dairy, meat (or the hormones within the meat), nonorganic foods with pesticides, whatever—try going a couple of weeks without it and see what happens. Some people find that bread, of all things, causes their irritation, while many others find that after eliminating dairy, they have few, if any, problems, which makes sense since most people do have some form of lactose intolerance (which explains why you feel the way you do after you eat some cheese curds at the local drive in).

Are Hypoallergenic Skincare Products all Hype?

Consumers may be filled with false confidence

Are hypoallergenic cosmetics really hypoallergenic? Many people are mislead by the hypoallergenic label. In actually hypoallergenic merely means that a product may be less likely to cause allergic reactions, it in no way means it won't cause allergic reactions.

According to WebMD, the FDA doesn't actually have guidelines or regulations connected to a companies use of the term hypoallergenic. What does this mean for you? This basically equates to more research on your part. Read your labels and understand your ingredients. Furthermore it wouldn't hurt to understand what the cause of your skin reactions stem from.

As a general rule, it's usually safe to say that most skin reactions come from harsh chemicals or in some cases actual allergic reactions to natural bases. For example there's an entire skin care product line called Merlot which is derived from grapeseed extract, someone allergic to grapeseed extract or for that matter any grape products may inadvertently have a allergic reaction through seemingly harmless natural products. It is however important to note that even though Merlot products are derived from grapeseed polyphenols it still has chemical ingredients that can cause harsh skin reactions. In Merlot's benefit they promote moisturizing benefits and haven't bothered to falsely join the hypoallergenic hype.

To make sure that you're always on the safe side, make sure to read and understand your labels. Be a smart and educated consumer, this will help to ensure that you stay one step ahead of false marketing statements. Always remember the only smart consumer is the educated consumer.

A Warmer than Usual Winter has led to Early Spring Allergies

Early Pollen Exposure may mean more Intense Allergy Symptoms

With winter fading and spring coming out early you may start noticing allergy symptoms kicking in earlier than usual. That’s not all, as spring progresses you may even find that your allergy symptoms appear stronger than they usually are. Though this may seem strange, there is an explanation that when considered makes perfect sense.

Stanley Fineman is an Allergist Specialist in Marietta Georgia and he offers an explanation that provides understanding into how the body interacts with common allergens, specifically pollen which is the main culprit of springtime allergies. According to Fineman at the time that common allergy medications are used pollen has just barely interacted with the body and by using these products early our body is able to build upon it’s natural immune system with the aid of key medications. The fact that pollen came out early prevented many people from preparing for the oncoming allergy season.

Beyond regular allergy sufferers, people who general don’t have allergy symptoms are expected to develop some signs of allergies as a result of the body not having adequate time to increase the immune system that usually fights off pollen. Fortunately for this group, simple over the counter medications will suffice, however for individuals that suffer year after year to allergies, they may need more help than usual and may even need to visit the doctor for higher doses of medications or even allergy medication in shot form which is more powerful and is delivered more rapidly. Wherever you fall in allergy symptoms, regular allergy sufferer or allergy free you can expect this year to be beyond the norm.

Tattoos are Breaking into the Medical Field

Tattoos warn of allergies, medical conditions and DNR orders


Goodbye boring medical bracelets, hello colorful tattoos. Tattoos are making way into the medical field and are being used to notify any medical staff of potential life threatening allergies. Although they’re also being used to notify of other medical problems and they are taking up many forms.

Many people are choosing to use a simplistic wording tattoo similar to the allergy tattoo in this picture. This is an ideal way to warn medical staff of allergies that can be missed during an emergency. This tattoo is beneficial specifically in a case where a person is admitted into the hospital unconscious.

One popular medical based tattoo that is showing up more and more is the medic alert tattoo. This tattoo gives medical staff personal vital information regarding ongoing medical conditions. As you can see in the image, the tattoo can be made into a colorful tattoo that the wearer can be proud to show off.

The one medical tattoo that catches my attention is the Do Not Resuscitate tattoo. Even though people create DNR notices that remain in their medical records, they don’t always get followed. This isn’t a result of doctors and other medical staff going against someone’s wishes, it usually results from an immediate action to save a life or in some cases a DNR notice can be neglected due to emergency room care that was immediately initiated before the patient was properly identified.

If you happen to be appreciative of tattoos and you want your allergies, medical conditions or final wishes understood in the event of an emergency then getting a medical tattoo just might be the route to go. You can literally be as simplistic or detailed as you want. The choice is up to you, and what better reason to add some new ink than to preserve your own life or make sure it’s not preserved.

Cold or Allergy Symptoms?

Many Allergy Symptoms are very similar to Cold Symptoms

Do you have a cold that seems like it’s never going to go away? You may be surprised to find out that your lingering cold is in actuality just common allergy symptoms. Getting help with your allergies and possibly even finding ways to locate and remove the allergen can help to reduce or eliminate your allergy symptoms, giving you back your life.

The most common signs of a cold are coughing, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, fever, fatigue and body aches. Many of these common cold signs are also common allergy symptoms.  Coughing and sore throat is a sign of a cold that can also be allergy symptoms, however it’s less common to experience these symptoms with allergen exposure. Fatigue and runny or stuffy nose can actually be experienced equally whether you have a cold or allergies, however the mucus brought on through allergy symptoms is clear whereas it’s usually discolored when caused by a cold. As for fever and body aches, they are both symptoms of the common cold and are never associated with allergy symptoms.

An allergy symptom that can be experienced with a cold on rare occasions though is more commonly experienced with allergies is watery and itchy eyes. As you can see all of these cold symptoms are very similar to allergy symptoms. In fact, they are so similar that often even doctors struggle when trying to diagnose the cause of your symptoms. As a result, allergy tests are usually ordered if you have cold and allergy symptoms that seem prolonged beyond the normal cold duration.

Make Hypoallergenic Olive Oil Soaps at Home

A fun project that can save you money

Purchasing hypoallergenic products can become costly. In today’s economic climate it would certainly be nice to cut down on high cost. If you have some free time you can save money and have a little fun making most of your hypoallergenic products at home. Try out the following olive oil soap base and any fragrance that you like to enjoy a fun experience that will save you tons of money.

Olive Oil Soaps

Olive Oil soap bases tend to be more hypoallergenic than other soap bases, although they can have a slight green tint and therefore aren’t completely clear. Olive Oil soaps also happen to be very moisturizing and have the advantage of not leaving behind any soapy residue on your skin. You can add essential oils to the soap for added fragrance.

I 2Lb block of olive oil soap can be melted to make 10 plus bars of soap depending upon your soap size. You can add any number of fragrance alone or in combination to create your own personalized soap. When making these soaps you’ll want to make sure that you are using essential oils and not fragrance oils.

The basic recipe will have you melt your block of olive oil soap and then add 2-3 drops of essential oil per bar that you are making. So if you have a 2 LB block then you’ll want to add 40-60 drops. If you want a milder scent then keep your oil addition closer to 40. Popular soap oil choices are lavender, orange, mint and even rosemary. Once you melt the oil and add your fragrance you simply pour your soap mixtures into prepared molds, available at any craft store.

2 Bizarre Life-threatening Allergies

I'll take your basic food allergy any day of the week over these

Two rather strange yet deadly allergies have been reported recently. One of these allergies can be avoided, however the other requires very careful planning of precautions. If you think you have it bad, then read on.

A London housewife recently died from what is believed to be an allergy to hair extension glue. Pathologists have cited that the death toll from hair extension glue ranges between 10 and 20 cases each year. This could be avoided by not getting hair extensions, however there really isn’t any concrete way of knowing whether or not an allergy to hair extension glue exist until it’s too late.

The second mentionable strange allergy that has been reported recently is an allergy to the cold, also known by the name urticarial. This particular problem is manageable however has been known to endanger life. Fortunately antihistamines help and having an EpiPen on hand at all times can reverse allergic reactions.

When I originally read about this particular allergy my first thought was, they should move. That thought of course doesn’t take into account that there may be many reasons that a person literally can’t move, such as employment opportunities, current financials and even responsibilities to others.  My next thought naturally was more selfish. I immediately began to wonder if there was any way for me to convince everyone that “it’s not so much that I don’t like the cold it’s just that I’m allergic to it.” I quickly realized that not only is it a little too late for me to have a sudden allergy to the cold, it would also be unethical. It would be like me gaining sympathy for a disease that I didn’t have, I guess I will grudgingly bundle up just as I always have and be thankful that it’s not as bad as it could be.

Keep your Loved Ones Healthy with Hypoallergenic Toys

Cute, comfy and fun

When I think of hypoallergenic products I tend to think of skin care products along with cloth alternatives. Today I came across a specific niche of hypoallergenic products that I’m very happy to share. I discovered many website filled with hypoallergenic toys to ensure that your little ones can play and have fun completely allergy free.

Kids Preferred carry a large supply of hypoallergenic toys. They have several stuffed animals, pull along toys  and many developmental toys. These toys are designed with vibrant colors and many textures that babies and toddlers love.

These toys are great whether your child suffers from allergies or asthma. One of the greatest things is that they have stuffed animals that are allergen free. Every child needs a stuffed animal to play with and for those moments when they just want that extra security.

Another website I came across that carried hypoallergenic toys was Love my Sheepskin. Love my Sheepskin carries stuff animals, however they aren’t as colorful and vibrant as the toys you can locate at Preferred Kids. For safety concerns, you’ll be happy to know that they are in fact flame retardant.

One interesting point of their toys is that they act like an instance thermostat, providing cool or warm temperatures. Sheepskin basically naturally insulates keeping in the cool or warm temperatures, a nice benefit that goes beyond your average stuffed animal. These toys also require minimal care and can easily be cleaned by following cleaning instructions found on the Love my Sheepskin website. 

Unique Hypoallergenic Pets

Have a pet that will prevent allergy symptoms

Owning a pet is often something that has to be passed for many people who suffer from allergens. Although fortunately there are a few hypoallergenic cat and dog breeds. There are also options for people who want something beyond the ordinary pet, imagine having one of these unique pets that are hypoallergenic.


Tarantulas are hypoallergenic and could be fun for some owners, though this is one pet I would avoid as I slightly suffer with that whole fear of spider thing and tarantulas are the king of all spiders in my book. I have known quite a few people who have owned a tarantula and have really enjoyed owning them. There are different species of tarantulas coming from different countries of origin.

 If you think these little creatures might be just what you want you’ll want to do a little research to determine the likes and dislikes of your tarantula breed, some tarantulas like to borrow in web made tunnels while others prefer to be on the limbs of trees.


All reptiles are hypoallergenic. This can include snakes, lizards and turtles. With such a vast inclusion you’ll want to make sure that you read carefully on the care requirements of this type of pet. You should also really spend some time on the decision of getting a reptile, many people buy lizard breeds and snake breeds that grow beyond their expectations and many abandoned reptiles get thrown into an outside environment when they become more than a person can handle.


Ferrets amazingly are hypoallergenic. Though they are known for their body odor, they do not release any kind of dander that can cause allergic reactions. One thing to keep in mind is that these little guys require a lot of time to care for them. They need regular grooming and cleaning as well as one on one attention time. Though they require more time than a tarantula might, they are active and can be hours of fun.

3 Winter Allergen Culprits

Know what is causing your winter allergies

Usually when people think of allergies they picture pollen created by flowers and foliage blooming followed by wind spreading the pollen across everyone’s path. Allergies created by this type of pollen will subside as winter comes along. Unfortunately many people are susceptible to many winter allergens that have absolutely nothing to do with pollen. There are four main winter allergy causes that people often overlook.

Mold Spores


Mold Spores are a leading cause of Winter Allergies. They’re so small that they’re able to escape through most filtration systems and are circulated through heating systems in the same way that dust mites are circulated. Since Mold Spores are a result of growing mold, it’s a good idea to take active steps to control mold growth. One way to do this is to occasionally test suspected areas with a mold detection kit.


Dust Mites

Dust mites are a common overlooked allergen that can become increasingly more difficult during the winter months. This is mainly due to heating requirements. Dust mites get sucked in and circulated through heating vents that are ran throughout the cold winter months.


Even people who are normally unaffected by household pets can suffer pet based allergies during the winter. This is primarily due to the fact that everything is closed in, created a more concentrated form of pet dander. Since windows are closed, there’s nowhere for the pet dander to escape. One possible solution is to occasionally air everything out even though it may drop your overall household temperature, it can save you from suffering unnecessarily during the winter.