My Inner Worlds
If you’ve followed my blog these past several months, you know I’ve had a weird allergic reaction affecting my eyes. I finally consented to see a dermatologist, which went against every stubborn bone in my body. He recommended a contact patch allergy test to help determine what chemical I’ve exposed myself to. Last week I went through that sneezy time (because I had to be off antihistamines for over a week) and endured an itchy back for five days. I couldn’t shower or exercise during this time—yuk, I know, but very much worth the discomfort to me and possibly those around me.
While Matt and I thought my back reacted to quite a few of the 69 chemicals taped to my back, the doctor diagnosed only one allergy. The chemical PPD (paraphenylenediamine). The chemical that is in my hair color, my eye makeup, my black leather purse, my boots, and for all I know, in my computer keyboard. I haven’t had the courage to Google that one yet.
The treatment? Stop using these products as much as I can. When asked “Are my days of hair coloring over?” my doctor looked at me and nodded yes. Can you feel the deflating of my spirit? My hair appointments are a highlight (no pun intended) of my beauty regime. One of my friends at the yoga studio voluntarily stopped dyeing her hair and embraced the gray months ago, but that was her choice. I guess I have a choice to still color my hair, but the cost of horribly swollen, burning eyes is not worth it.
The silver lining is that I can still use my leather products as long as I don’t touch my eyes. Well, I rarely touch my eyes, so that should be easy. When I informed Matt, he laughed. “You touch your eyes all the time!” I do? Obviously I must since my eye area hurt for over six months. My body is now retraining itself to NEVER touch the eyes. Never. Unless I just washed my hands. It’s actually difficult to stop this bad habit.
Mascara and other dark-colored makeup contain PPD, so I’ve determined to embrace the true color of my hair (whatever that is) and to not use cosmetics around my eyes. Since I stopped eye makeup a couple months back, I think everyone is used to my more natural look, including me.
Now to test this theory that PPD caused my painful eye reaction. My new mantra: don’t touch the eyes, don’t touch the eyes.