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Allergy to spouse


lexi
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Ummm. I think I'm allergic to his facial hair or something. Is that crazy?

 

Whenever he is scruffy and his face rubs against mine I break out in hives, my face turns bright red and starts burning, and I am very itchy whenever his scruffy face touched me. He's usually clean shaven but sometimes during breaks (like this Christmas break) he doesn't always shave. Right now my cheeks and lip are swollen and red and burning. I have huge hives.

 

What is going on?

 

He hasn't changed aftershave or lotion or soap or anything. I can't think of anything different and he hasn't eaten anything unusual. This has started happening over the past year. If he's scruffy, I break out. It happens to one of our daughters too.

 

Am I allergic to the guy? 😳

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I always just attribute it to the roughness of his hair on soft skin, more of an abrasive thing than an allergy. I don't get actual hives, just redness, though.

I would have thought that too except I have actual hives and swelling. My face is burning and itching. It's not like I'm a little bit red - nope - my face is flaming. And this is not the first time it's happened recently.

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Let him grow it out for two weeks is my suggestion before you worry too much. It will most likely get better. I doubt it's an actual allergy. My husband has a beard 365 days a year, but he trims it back severely 1-2 times a year. When he does this my face reacts exactly as you are describing. Even my husband will admit his face is itchy during this stage. It's the prickly hair effect from being trimmed- I know this isn't exactly what your husband is doing, but in my experience with dh it's the same way growing a beard. When he used to shave it down to a goatee for a while and then switch back to the beard- same experience. It's highly irritating- particularly if he has thicker facial hair. It always goes away for me a week or so after he trims it. I love facial hair on a man, so for me it's worth the "rough" week. It should pass. 

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Let him grow it out for two weeks is my suggestion before you worry too much. It will most likely get better. I doubt it's an actual allergy. My husband has a beard 365 days a year, but he trims it back severely 1-2 times a year. When he does this my face reacts exactly as you are describing. Even my husband will admit his face is itchy during this stage. It's the prickly hair effect from being trimmed- I know this isn't exactly what your husband is doing, but in my experience with dh it's the same way growing a beard. When he used to shave it down to a goatee for a while and then switch back to the beard- same experience. It's highly irritating- particularly if he has thicker facial hair. It always goes away for me a week or so after he trims it. I love facial hair on a man, so for me it's worth the "rough" week. It should pass.

Thanks. He decided to shave. My face has cleared up finally.

He kissed me with his clean shaven face and I'm totally fine. So he said he would shave consistently. Goodness. I was so itchy. So hopefully a clean shaven face will keep it from happening again.

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I would not be one bit surprised if you will be fine if he shaves.  Or grows out a beard beard...not the stubble-beard.  

 

I have a similar reaction, not only to my own dh, but to every man in our parish.  We have an annual rite of mutual forgiveness, and it is typically followed by a hug-right, hug-left, hug-right threefold hug.  Well, after that rite, I was a MESS.  I finally realized that it was the shortish beards or stubble beards that did it...there are a few men in the parish with really luxuriant beards and I'm OK with them.  

 

My dh shaves all but some chin-beard (which is OK because it is longish and soft...he has a cleft that he hates shaving so he grew out the chin beard) and I'm OK with that.  But when he goes stubbly, nope--I get all hivey again.  

 

I spoke to all the men I know I can't hug and explained why, so now we do the threefold handshake.  :0). 

 

 

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I would look for other allergens, too, like your lotions or his.  With allergy tests, they don't just put the allergen on the skin; they slightly scratch the skin first.  I'm guessing you are allergic to something in your environment, from dander to cosmetics to food, and he is creating an allergy test by putting little micro-scratches all over your skin.  Just something to think about because chronic exposure to mild allergens can cause mysterious health problems.

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Sort of OT... I'm allergic to spit on my skin. Like if anyone licks me or gives a sloppy kiss.

 

My skin gets sizzly with wet kisses. Very unpleasant. I wondered for a long time if it was in my head until I started reacting to all kinds of things.

 

OP, I am glad you are feeling better, and yes, irritation can cause hives too (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dermatographia/basics/definition/con-20025360), though I would assume it's something on your skin or his that's the more likely culprit. I definitely react to some kinds of shaving gel that my husband has used in the past, but only when he uses it--it has to get scratched into my skin. If I were to use it on my legs, it would be fine (or at least has been fine in the past--we don't keep it around). 

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