I Am Allergic To Soap (Story)

It’s been two weeks since you met your new
girlfriend, and things are going great! You’ve been out on a few dates, and now
you’re meeting her for a romantic dinner. She’s getting off work soon and will drop
by your place so you can head to the restaurant, so you wash up and wait by the door. Soon enough, there’s a knock! Your girlfriend’s here, but it’s clear
she’s had a rough day at work. “I know, I look like a mess. There was an unexpected food fight.” “You look beautiful. Do you want to wash up before we go, though?” “Thanks.” She sits down and opens her purse, pulling
out a small bottle of cleaner. “Oh, It’s fine.” You say. “I have some soap upstairs. She blushes. “No, I should use mine. This is embarrassing, but…I’m allergic
to soap.” Whaaaaaaaat? (Exaggerated expression of shock here) Yes, it turns out you can be allergic to soap! The substance that keeps most people clean
can cause skin irritation or even serious allergic reactions for a small number of people. This rare allergy means people have to be
careful around hand soap, liquid hand sanitizers, and even laundry detergent! You don’t really have time to think too
much about it, though, as your girlfriend is up and down the stairs, looking stunning
before you can think of your next question. Your reservation is at 7, so naturally you’re
waiting for a table at 7:30. As your girlfriend checks her phone, you can’t
stop thinking about the bath bomb she just dropped. “So, are you going to get sick if you touch
soap? Are you going to – “ “Oh, no! This isn’t like a peanut allergy, where
people can die in minutes if they’re exposed to it. It’s more of a skin condition – allergic
contact dermatitis. It all started when I was a kid…” I was constantly getting rashes when I was
young. My skin would turn red and painful when I
took a bath, my hands would get blotchy and swollen when I would wash them, and even when
I wasn’t washing directly I’d constantly be scratching an itch! It drove me crazy. My parents took me to one skin specialist
after another, but I didn’t get an answer until they went to an allergist. It was like a light went on! Once we knew I was allergic to soap, I was
able to change my habits and I didn’t constantly feel like I had been running through a poison
ivy bush. Dinner conversation eventually shifts away
from allergies, and more towards your taste in music. You watch your girlfriend clean up with some
antibacterial wipes – which don’t contain soap, apparently! – and you get a kiss goodnight
before saying farewell. It’s a few days later, and the big game
is coming up! You’re planning to watch together with some
friends, which means there’s one essential stop – the supermarket. Time to stock up on everything you’ll need,
including chips, dip, and buffalo wings. But your girlfriend has another stop to make. “Hold on, I need to pick up some shampoo.” Grabbing your cart, she heads right past the
hair care aisle and into the organic section, where there’s a small selection of cleaning
products. “This is the only place where I can find
cleaning products that are free of my allergens.” “How do you know what you’re allergic
to?” “I didn’t for a long time, until my allergen
did a patch test. That’s where they exposed my skin to a bunch
of potential allergens in tiny amounts, until they saw which caused skin irritation. Soap ingredients are like a mad scientist’s
lab of potions, so there are a ton of possibilities that can cause allergies.” She scans the bottle’s ingredients. “See? Paraben-free. That’s the preservative I’m allergic to. I also tested positive for allergies to some
of the esters and ketones that made up fragrances, so I try to buy fragrance-free soaps and shampoos. Almost all cosmetic products contain one or
the other, so organic products are the safest bet for someone with a soap allergy.” You’re learning a lot more about soap allergies
than you ever expected, but you just remembered you forgot one important thing. “Wait, we forgot Avocados! We need guacamole!” You race out of the aisle and back towards
the food. The big game goes well into the night, and
your team wins! After all the celebration, your girlfriend
is exhausted, and you decide to ask the big question. “It’s really late. Do you want to stay the night and drive back
tomorrow?” “Sure! I’ll just take a shower first. I smell like nachos.” “Wait, do you have your supplies? All my soaps and shampoos are the standard
stuff.” She pulls out a selection of small bottles
from her bag. “I always keep some travel supplies with
me. I never know when I’ll need them. Especially on the go – public bathrooms only
have liquid soap that’s full of preservatives and fragrances with no ingredients available. I always have some hand sanitizer, a little
container of liquid soap, and a travel-sized shampoo bottle, so I’m good to go. Oh, and a tube of anti-itch cream, just in
case I get exposed. “ You know there aren’t any fragrances in
her soap, but your girlfriend sure smells great when she collapses into bed after showering. As she sleeps off the excitement of the big
game next morning, you’re up bright and early. You notice her stained hoodie on your chair,
the victim of an unfortunate nacho incident. You need to do a load of laundry, so you toss
it in – a nice gesture, you think! Not so much. As she’s packing to leave, you notice your
girlfriend start scratching her arms. She pulls up her sleeve to reveal nasty red
welts. She seems to be breathing more heavily than
usual. “Wait…did you wash my hoodie?” “Yeah, it got nacho’d last night. I didn’t use any soap, though.” “Did you use laundry detergent?” “Yeah, but – wait, is laundry detergent
the same as soap?” She quickly pulls the hoodie over to her head
and tosses it to the side. “Quick, bring my bag upstairs! I need to get this off my skin.”’ You follow her upstairs as she grabs a washcloth
and wets it, carefully scrubbing off her forearms. She applies some allergen free soap to thoroughly
clean her skin, then rubs on some anti-itch cream to relieve the rash. She pops some Benadryl to clear up her airways,
then collapses on your couch. “Are you okay?” “Yeah, if I catch it quickly and clean myself
thoroughly after being exposed, I can shorten the reaction a lot. I got my allergies triggered so often as a
child before it was discovered that I know the routine pretty well.” “How long does it usually take to pass?” “Depends on how long I’ve been exposed
and how concentrated the soap is. Usually an hour or so for something like this.” You make sure she’s comfortable on your
couch and bring her something to drink while she’s recovering, apologizing about twenty
times along the way. It’s hard to believe something as common
as soap can cause allergies – and can show up in so many ways, like washing clothes. “How do you wash your clothes without detergent?” “A lot of the top detergent companies have
allergy-safe detergents now, eliminating all the preservatives and fragrances. An important thing to remember is that a soap
allergy is usually an allergy to the added compounds in commercial soap, rather than
the chemical makeup of the soap itself.” Thankfully, she’s already forgiven you for
your laundry blunder, and once she’s feeling better you make plans to see each other again
soon. You don’t have any allergies – except the
broccoli allergy you tried to convince your mom of when you were seven – so this is all
new for you. But you’re learning fast, and you want to
make this as easy for her as possible. Before your next date, you’ve packed some
antibacterial wipes and a little bottle of hand sanitizer on you, in case she forgets
hers or runs out. You’ve switched up your own soap and shampoo
supplies to be as preservative and fragrance-free as possible – she’s not sensitive enough
that you using soap could trigger her allergies, but just to be safe. Plus, you want her to have options when she
comes to visit – which you’re hoping will be happening more often! Could you deal with a soap allergy? We hope you don’t have an allergy to interesting
video content, because we have many more for you to watch. Check out “I Got Stung By 50 Bees and I’m
Allergic” for more crazy allergy stories, or “Crazy Things a Doctor Removed From Inside
Person’s Body” for other strange medical conditions. Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to
like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

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