Update on my hands

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TeresaT

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As some of you may have read, I burned the stuffing out of my hands on Sunday night (04/03/2016) by washing with unsaponified soap. It had passed the zap test but was very soft and mushy. I thought that was just because it was 100% olive oil and decided to test out the slime factor. After about 15 or 20 seconds, I ended up with the burn factor instead. Today was the fourth day after "the incident" and I woke up to blistered and itchy hands. Quite attractive, I must say. It looks like I'm having an allergic reaction to something. I'm going to post photos of my hands from this morning.

Let me gross you out a bit more...

My hands are still pretty red and scaly, but now they're blistered and itchy as well. This was definitely a lesson well learned. Never use soft, mushy soap, even it it doesn't zap. I still have no idea why the soap did not zap, other than I did not have enough soap bubbles on my fingers to begin with to do the test. The odd thing, in retrospect, is that I usually zap test it a couple of times "just to make sure" that I didn't get a zap. I didn't do that Sunday because I was in a hurry to get the kitchen cleaned up. As I said, definitely a lesson well learned. I will slow down and always double check my zap tests. I will probably never check a new just-cut soap for bubbles without gloves on again. Once burned, no need to repeat.

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Navaria

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Oh you poor thing! That looks so painful! Pretty darn sneaky of that soap to not zap but still burn!
 

Stacyspy

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Ouch. Just ouch. I know how badly that must hurt- been there, done that- I hope you heal quickly!
 

dibbles

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Oh no! I hope it starts feeling better soon. I can never wait to see the bubbles either, and usually test out an end scrap not too long after cutting. I do zap test, but maybe I should exercise a little more caution/self control in light of this.
 

cmzaha

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Are you really sure it is the soap. This looks a lot like my type of eczema. When I have a flair it will actually act and look just like a burn. I am a great one for cutting and handling zappy soap by cutting to soon or just with un-molding. Since I am not huge on gelling most of my soaps will be zappy when I cut them. My fingers will become slick from the lye, like perm solution would do, but certainly not burnt.
 

DeeAnna

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I'm wondering also if it's a lye burn. The small bumps don't look like blisters from a second degree burn, but almost more like an allergic rash. I'd expect a mild chemical burn to be getting less red and irritated, not more, as time goes by. I'm not a physician, however, so take my thoughts for what they're worth. Maybe a medical check is in order?
 

LisaAnne

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Dang, whatever it is I'm sorry it happened. Looks very uncomfortable. Hope you heal soon.
 

fuzz-juzz

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I'm not sure what happened on the first day but if it's only becoming red now it could be allergic reaction of some sort.
It looks painful nonetheless. Maybe get it checked out uf it's still there. But I hope it will get better soon.

I also would say it's probably not lye. If the soap indeed has some lye in it you would've know the first day. Unsaponified soap doesn't feel stingy straight away but 5-10 min later oh boy... I've smeared my arms numerous times with batter not knowing it's there until it goes red and stingy. It usually goes away after a day. I never had blisters only redness.
 
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SuzieOz

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Shivers! Not nice Teresa, please keep us updated. I hope you sort out exactly what it is. Good lesson, anyway, that we need to always be safe and keep our wits about us.
 

Susie

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Ouch! But I am with the others, that looks like my typical eczema. Especially with you saying it is worsening as time goes on. I would start looking at whatever you are washing your hands with, or if you are hand washing dishes, start using gloves.

Eczema is known as "the itch that rashes" for a good reason. However, if it is not better in the next couple of days, I would get to a doctor. The only reason is that treatment for a chemical burn is very different than treatment for eczema.
 
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Arimara

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That looks more like a severe irritation than a burn. I know it smarts like the dickens since it happened to me too. Calendula in some olive or coconut oil would really help with that as it helped me. Chamomile too. Heating the oil to about 170 or 180 degrees for a quick infusion is a good way to go.
 

lenarenee

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Teresa, I don't have an opinion on what your poor hands are going through. But, if you find it's irritation from something in your soap (fo's are often a culprit) I'd encourage you to stay away from using any product containing any fragrances (including eo) or preservatives. In fact, the fewer ingredients on your skin as you heal, the better.

Why? I had a problem with contact dermatitis in December from liquid soap in a public bathroom. I still have it, because as soon as the skin starts to look normal enough, I change from using plain jane soaps and homemade body butter (no fo or preservative) to my homemade soap with eo or fo, and commercial hand lotion. That "unheals" me very fast. I don't have an allergy to fragrances; no reaction with fo's in happy skin.

This is a long way to say: be extra gentle and nice to yourself until you're completely back to normal!

(okay smf'ers, no smart remarks about using the term "normal" when talking to Teresa)
 

Candice

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I definitely second going to a doctor.

I suffer from eczema and allergic reactions to things as well. My eczema is only on my hands, but it's horrible. I can't eat anything with wheat in it, and wheat is hidden in so many things. Other times of the year, I might get hives or allergic rashes to certain things, but I have ways and means of healing myself.

First of all, grab some Condy's Crystals or it's also called Potassium Permanganate. They're tiny black crystals, the size of mustard seeds, and you only need a few of the crystals to turn a bowl of water a pinkish colour (don't use too many crystals and make the water purple. Purple means it isn't diluted enough and will make your skin worse) and then soak your hands for 20 minutes daily. This will calm the itch, will help dry the skin but not make it worse and it is also a disinfectant and works wonders on my allergic rashes.

Next, eat some sugar free yogurt -- like Greek yogurt--about half a cup a day. You need the good bacteria in the yogurt for your gut, and then this improves your immune system and your system can fight the allergy. I cannot stress how important this point is. You need live acidophilus; the powdered kind won't help. I had chronic hives for 2 years. Yogurt, drinking lots of clean fresh water, and exercising an hour a day helped me eliminate the problem. But for a general allergic rash, live acidophilus can help.

Don't use anything (soaps, laundry powder, dishwashing liquids,) with fragrance oils and stay away from gloves that have powder, and generally just don't touch anything with your bare hands because they'll be so sore! Vaseline helps as it's thick. Put it on just as you're going to sleep and it will help soothe the skin when you wake up.

The way your rash came up makes me think it was something in the soap. Did you use a new FO or ingredient? It could also be the lye and your immune system just came out in an allergic rash. Allergies are funny that way.

For immediate relief, take Telfast or another antihistamine designed for allergic reactions. Zyrtec is also good. Soak your hands in Condy's Crystals (potassium permanganate) for 20 minutes daily, if skin is dry use some Vaseline at night. Add Greek Yogurt or anything with live acidophilus to your diet. If you really do feel it is a burn, use fresh aloe vera, which can be kept nice and cool in the fridge.

These are my fixes and I hope they help you!
 

cmzaha

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Theresa, I would definitely check with a doctor if your hands are not improving. Although I do understand this day and age some folks cannot just run to a doctor due to insurance. The methods mentioned above or anyone's methods should not be tried without first understanding what the cause is. I would not soak my hands in something like Condy's Crystals I just use good old sea salt. Manganese can be toxic. I am sure DeeAnna can lend some info Potassium Permanganate which, from what I have read, is made from Manganese and can be dangerous if used in high amounts.

Taking even over counter meds can be dangerous with allergies. I cannot take Benadryl, for instance, that some say it is just over the counter. In my experience, if an allergy disappears, even for years it is not gone just dormant, waiting to rear it ugly head again someday. Just like what has happened to my hands that had not had flair ups for almost 20 yrs. Yogurt would not help someone with allergies to milk. Unfortunately prednisone is my friend again, after being off it for many years other than during severe emergency attacks. There are some great ointments by prescription but the costs of them has gone up quite high. I had one that is wonderful, was paying $5 for it with my insurance, last time it went up to $80 and I would not pick it up.

I will end with I would never suggest any type to treatment to anyone. Even contact dermatitis can be deadly by leading to anaphylactic shock, swelling of the throat, etc. To end I am less allergic to fo's than eo's. But I do suggest using only nitrile gloves or any that are latex free. Hopefully you get it under control. It is miserable
 

navigator9

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Teresa, that looks really painful! I think I side with the group that feels like it doesn't look like a lye burn. The closest I've seen is back when I had poison ivy REALLY bad, and had cellulitis from it. Whatever it is, it looks bad enough that it should be checked out by a doc. Hope whatever it is, it gets resolved soon.
 

TeresaT

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Lenarenee, you made my day! Y'all know me well enough not to put "Teresa" and "normal" in the same sentence! That is awesome.

Thanks everyone for your concern and care. You were right. My hand have had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic ointment I was putting on them to help heal the lye burns and prevent damage/infection. Go figure! Apparently since the skin was already damaged, I ended up getting a reaction from using it so many times. I probably wouldn't have gotten a reaction if I stopped using it Monday morning. (My theory, not the nurse's.) i went to the local CVS and saw a nurse at the minute clinic. When she saw my hands she said it looked like I was having an allergic reaction. Then I told her what happened. I also remembered that years ago (2001 or 2002), I had surgery and the site got infected. I had to put Neosporine on it 3 times a day and cover it until my follow up the next week. The area with the Neosporine was blistered. Just like my hands. I guess short term us doesn't cause a reaction (I use it on my face when I get bad breakouts), but long term use (or on damaged skin) does.

This does not surprise me since I am allergic to the non-latex bandages and nitrile gloves. I cannot wear either one because, you guessed it! They make my skin blister and itch. I have to use latex bandages and latex gloves. But it's OK if medical staff use nitrile while treating me, as long as they don't leave it on my skin for any great length of time.
 

cmzaha

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This does not surprise me since I am allergic to the non-latex bandages and nitrile gloves. I cannot wear either one because, you guessed it! They make my skin blister and itch. I have to use latex bandages and latex gloves. But it's OK if medical staff use nitrile while treating me, as long as they don't leave it on my skin for any great length of time.
Just shows how different allergies can be. Latex gloves give me a direct pass to the emergency room :) Glad you figured it out
 

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