I posted a more descript
ive explanation in another thread, but thought I'd add to this one, too, in case it'll help anyone.
12 years ago, after applying Band-aid brand bandages to some large knee and elbow scrapes I incurred after falling off a scooter, I started to have bad reactions for the first time. Wherever the adhesive touched, a rash developed, covered in thousands of tiny fluid-filled blisters that were ridiculously itchy. I couldn't help scratching them in my sleep at night, which inadvertently popped the blisters and made the rash spread! Neosporin, hydrocortisone, triple antibiotic cream --- nothing worked!
After 2 weeks with no improvement, I finally went to a dermatologist who prescribed "clobetasol propionate 0.05% ointment", a stronger steroid than hydrocortisone, which immediately made things better for me! As soon as I put it on, the itch stopped, and within a couple days, the blisters were gone and my rash was finally starting to heal. I was left with some large dark scars that took forever to go away, but eventually they did.
My dermatologist explained that I might have developed a contact allergy or sensitivity to latex, which can happen over time and repeated exposure, so it might not be that Band-aid changed their adhesive formulation as some may think.
However, with some trial and error, I found that I wasn't allergic to latex, because I could use latex gloves, rubberbands, and other latex products just fine. But most latex-free bandages didn't give me reactions either.
So I finally went to the allergist for some patch testing, and discovered that I have an allergy to cobalt (not relevant here) and to COLOPHONY (also known as ABIETIC ACID, or ROSIN), which is used in a lot of adhesives and glues.
But there are so many ingredients that go into adhesives, which manufacturers never list, so it's hard to know which adhesives are safe for you or me without simple trial and error.
If you have bad skin reactions to adhesives, you could be allergic to latex, colophony, formaldehyde, or even certain food derivatives (as someone else mentioned here), so you won't know until you get tested. And it's good to have medication on hand, like hydrocortisone (or for me, clobetasol), for those times you do suffer another allergic skin reaction (also known as "contact dermatitis"). And it's always a good idea to have Goo-gone on hand, any time you need to remove adhesive residue from your skin, or shoes, clothing, etc. (left over from the manufacturing process).
If you do find that you indeed have a colophony allergy like me, then my advice is to stick to 3M adhesives, because I don't think they use it in their formulations. 3M scotch tape, masking tape, blue tape, green tape, Micropore surgical paper tape, Nexcare bandages, post-its, you name it -- they've all worked great for me. Most latex-free bandages are good, but not all, so when in doubt, just use some gauze (or tissue) and 3M tape to cover any wounds as needed.
Good luck everyone! Hope this helped!
Post Edited (Sandy Gravel) : 5/5/2014 8:29:21 PM (GMT-6)