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Medical Problem - Woman Stuff
Old 10-17-2010, 07:43 PM   #1
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Medical Problem - Woman Stuff

This may be TMI but I'm at my wits end and I need some ideas on how to resolve this issue.

I had what I believe to be an allergic reaction to some Spanx "shapeware" back in May. The tag stated something like "nylon, spandex and 2% other." Could the 2% have been latex and caused a reaction? I'm not known to be sensitive to latex. Or maybe it was from soap left from handwashing or .........

Basically, everything got real red and irritated "down there" and it felt a bit like I had a urinary tract infection (irritation, slight urgency, slight abdominal tenderness). I went to my primary care physician and my gynecologist and the issue is neither related to bacteria nor fungus.

I was on vacation for a week at the end of July and didn't do much sitting and didn't wear any shapewear or pantyhose. Things seemed to be improving so I decided to try wear the Spanx again which was a big mistake. The redness and the irritation came back with a vengeance and has not gone away.

I tried a couple rounds of prednisone which calms things down a bit and reduces the pain but even as a days' dose is wearing off, I can feel the irritation and stinging and pain return. I tried a prescription burn cream with silver and sulfur but that didn't seem to have a huge effect.

The pressure of sitting makes things worse (a big problem since I have basically a desk job) and urination exacerabates the irritation and pain. I think I'm going to have to have my doctor write me an order for a stand-up desk at work. The best time of day is when I wake up in the morning because the tissue had not irritated by the pressure of sitting or urination for 7-8 hours.

Has anyone ever heard of anything like this? Both docs don't really have any ideas at this point and I don't think they can appreciate how painful this is and how crazy it is making me. Or could it be related to menopause and hormones? I have my hormone levels checked and everything was normal. I have no other health issues. Any ideas about what to do or maybe what kind of doctor to see?
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:10 PM   #2
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It may be a latex allergy but the only way to tell is see if other latex bothers you . Bras , Balloons , rubber gloves . Maybe try a dermatologist !
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:25 PM   #3
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It's not something as simple as sweat building up and causing a rash is it? I tried those Spanx once and after a few hours of feeling like I couldn't breath properly I decided I would rather the world see my real shape than suffer.

Have you tried bathing in epsom salts?
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:35 PM   #4
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I'm allergic to wearing any kind of shapeware . If I were you I would definitely stop wearing that brand. Also, change your laundry detergent, bath products, etc., to something hypoallergenic just in case some formula got changed that you don't know about?

You could e-mail customer service at Spanx and tell them about the problem and ask them what is in the 2 percent "other."

I hope you can find some medication to heal things up!
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
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It's not something as simple as sweat building up and causing a rash is it? I tried those Spanx once and after a few hours of feeling like I couldn't breath properly I decided I would rather the world see my real shape than suffer.

Have you tried bathing in epsom salts?
Haven't tried epsom salts yet but I will. I tried Aveeno oatmeal bath but that didn't seem to help. No one seems to be calling it a rash. Just beet red, irritated, inflamed skin. No bumps or splotches.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:48 PM   #6
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I'm allergic to wearing any kind of shapeware . If I were you I would definitely stop wearing that brand. Also, change your laundry detergent, bath products, etc., to something hypoallergenic just in case some formula got changed that you don't know about?

You could e-mail customer service at Spanx and tell them about the problem and ask them what is in the 2 percent "other."

I hope you can find some medication to heal things up!
All laundry products are free of perfumes and dyes. That was the first change months ago. Went to dye and fragrance free soap also which is used sparingly in particular areas.

I just can't seem to break the cycle of irritation that got started to allow the skin to heal and get back to normal. Or there is something else going on.

No exposure to Spanx for months.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:02 PM   #7
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Yes, latex is a potential offender. And don't overlook special detergents or soaps you may have used to clean that garment. Finally, be aware that neomycin, found in Neosporin and other topical antibacterials, can do this, as can sulfa creams (unlikely causes given the timing, but can make it worse).

Hope you are on the mend
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:40 PM   #8
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... and 2% other."
Sometimes that's the intellectual property or the trade secrets that they don't want to have to defend against infringement.

Sometimes that's corporate speak for "whatever our factory manager finds on sale or fell off the truck..."
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:55 AM   #9
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You might want to check your urine pH. Having it too acid or alkaline can cause or add to skin irritation. You can buy special pH paper at a health food store like Whole Foods or online at Amazon. Did you take antibiotics prior to this happening or make any diet changes?

A waxy lip balm can sometimes also help keep skin from getting irritated when you urinate.

Also cotton underpants and no pantyhouse can help. Try natural fabric pants or garter belts and hose if you need to wear nylons.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:48 AM   #10
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Agree with this.

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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Maybe try a dermatologist !
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:00 AM   #11
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If they were brand new, one of the most common irritants in textiles is formaldeyde.



What are the reactions to formaldehyde allergy?

Reactions to formaldehyde depend on the type of exposure that has occurred. Formaldehyde is not only a sensitiser but also a potent primary irritant. Exposure to formaldehyde gas may cause burning sensations in the eye, nose and throat, skin rashes, tightness of the chest and wheezing, fatigue and headaches. These symptoms may be a result of a primary irritant effect or an allergic sensitisation to formaldehyde.
Frequent or prolonged exposure may cause hypersensitivity, leading to the development of allergic contact dermatitis. This may occur through skin contact with formaldehyde containing products or with clothing made from fabrics containing formaldehyde. Dermatitis caused by clothing tends to affect parts of the body where there is greatest friction between the skin and fabric, for example "trouser dermatitis" is usually apparent on the inner thighs, gluteal folds and backs of the knees. Sweating may also be a factor in causing the allergic dermatitis as sweat or sebum appears to leach free formaldehyde from formaldehyde resins. Individuals sensitive to formaldehyde are not necessarily hypersensitive to formaldehyde resins. Clothing dermatitis appears to affect women more than men.
In individuals who are highly sensitive, contact with minute amounts of formaldehyde or being in a room where a bottle of formaldehyde may have been open previously thus leaving residual gas, can cause dermatitis.
http://dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/form...e-allergy.html
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:45 AM   #12
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...Also cotton underpants and no pantyhouse can help. Try natural fabric pants or garter belts and hose if you need to wear nylons.
I second this advice. Synthetics cause me to sweat terribly and the net result is no fun. This includes slacks as well as pantyhose and underwear.
I can wear hose with garters with no problem.

Good luck with your situation.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:50 AM   #13
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No antibiotics in many, many years and no diet changes. I thought about the PH of the urine but haven't tested it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooFrugal View Post
You might want to check your urine pH. Having it too acid or alkaline can cause or add to skin irritation. You can buy special pH paper at a health food store like Whole Foods or online at Amazon. Did you take antibiotics prior to this happening or make any diet changes?

A waxy lip balm can sometimes also help keep skin from getting irritated when you urinate.

Also cotton underpants and no pantyhouse can help. Try natural fabric pants or garter belts and hose if you need to wear nylons.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:05 AM   #14
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Someone PM'd me with her experience which is very much like mine. Like me, her issues came around the of tissue changes tied to menopause and lots of sitting (pressure on the tissue) at work. Her description of the pain as nerve pain is right on. She was helped by a neurologist and medication to calm the nerves down there. I may have to try that route (along with doing all the right things to no irritate the tissue) because treating the skin itself has not gotten me anywhere in 5 months.

Maybe this is my body telling me it's time to get away from the desk job and RE!
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:26 AM   #15
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I keep Cortisone from Walgreens over-the-counter around all the time when some rash attacks, since I swim and swimmers seems to get stuff like this alot.

As for Spanx and other items that suck you in...I'm a little glad I just decided years ago to let the fat fly (so to speak) now after reading this thread. Sounds painful.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:28 AM   #16
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Diaper rash creme? Worked wonders on our babies' irritated bottoms.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:36 AM   #17
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Buckeye.....it sounds like you are really uncomfortable. Nobody needs that...ever. I would second (third?) the idea of seeing a dermatologist. It sounds like it's turned into almost a chronic inflammatory condition of some sort that perhaps a round of steriods would put an end to. There are also non-steroidal anti-infammatory meds that might help, but my guess is that the Derm Doc would be the go-to-gal for this problem.

Sorry this has happened and we hope to hear soon that it has resolved.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:34 PM   #18
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I eyed Spanks in the store the other day - was tempted but didn't succumb.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:23 PM   #19
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I may have to let Spanx off the hook based on the PM's I have been trading with one of our members. She has had (and mostly resolved) exactly what I have. She knew stuff that was going on I had not described in the post and it has nothing to do with Spanx or any kind of allergic reaction. Seems like lots of sitting combined with changes related to menopause are probably at the root cause of my (our) issue but it's related to the nerves and not a skin reaction. That's why the pain makes me crazy. It's not typically irritated skin pain, it's nerve pain.

Her solution was to see a neurologist and receive medication to treat the nerves instead of treating the skin. I'll try that road also because I know treating the skin has not gotten me anywhere in 5 months and my PCP and gyn don't have any other ideas.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:31 PM   #20
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I tried on one of the bras in Target the other day made by the same Sarah Blakely lady that designed Spanks, but called something else. Well made and has a cool microfiber back (front closure) that I really liked. $32, which is high for Target, but not for a good bra from a dept store.
Buckeye, I'm glad you are on the way to resolving the discomfort--my sis is starting to have early symptoms of menopause so I'll tell her to be on the lookout.
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