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Band-aids: Transdermal Gluten Contamin?
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Hi again. I've had BIG problems all afternoon. Lost my appetite at lunch-time and a few hours later....well, you can probably guess. Thing is, I've not done anything unusual except go to the doctors to have blood drawn. I checked to see what kind of alcohol they were using (it was Isopropyl - which is okay), but she put a band-aid on afterwards (forgot the brand-name, but I'd remember it if I heard it) and I wonder if the glue could have gluten in it. It was just about an hour later that I started feeling lousy, so....

Does this sound likely to anyone? What brand of band-aids do you use? Have you ever had a reaction to one? I have a friend who works at a hospital. She told me that one time she removed a transdermal patch from an angina patient and minutes later she (my friend) was having heart palpitations. What is absorbed by the skin can enter the bloodstream, therefore, could band-aids be a problem? Obviously it could cause dh, but intestinal symptoms?

Thanks!

-donna

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Oh, wow. This would explain a lot. My daughter is "allergic" to bandaids (adhesives actually, all the different type of adhesive bandage, but most especially the waterproof 3M brand ones.) She's been like this for the last few years (she's 6.) If she has one on her skin, the skin blisters and burns and takes weeks to heal. It's awful. Since that has been a longstanding reaction and we've only been diagnosed with celiac disease since this last summer, I am very interested in knowing the answer to that too.

I should mention, we don't use any self-adhesive bandages at all on her now. I don't even let her put stickers on her skin just to be safe.

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unless the adhesive was directly on the open cut, no, you can't absorb gluten through the skin (the molecule is too large). but you can react to adhesives on the skin just by being sensitive to the adhesive itself.

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Ah, well. I thought we'd found an answer to this rather puzzling problem. No, the adhesive is not touching the cut, in my daughter's case. I'm curious now about why kids should be careful with things like playdo or glue that has gluten in it. Is it just the off chance that they'll eat the stuff that we have to be careful about? Then what about lotions and makeup and such? (I'm getting very confused.)

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Yep, Freya, it's because kids (and adults!) have a tendency to put things in their mouths. I make sure my lotions and soaps are gluten-free because I tend to lick my fingers when I eat, and I do it without thinking. Kids will eat things just because someone else dares them to, so being extra careful about things is a very good idea! (My son used to eat live bugs for $1.00 a piece. At least they were protein!)

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FreyaUSA,

As others said your daughter's reaction is not a gluten thing. Gluten on the skin doesn't even cause DH outbreaks, much less go through the skin. But some people simply cannot abide the adhesive on badaids. I suaully have no problem but the adhesive they used when I had hernia surgey caused awful dermal problems, including blisters. For some it's an allergic thing but in my case this dressing had been on so long my skin finally rebelled. Doctors and nurses have to deal with this all the time.

richard

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I know people on this site say that you cannot absorb through the skin, but I know if I touch gluten with my hands, my hands break out. I do not have DH. It's almost like a mini-gluten reaction. My hands split open and bleed. So, I for one believe there is some connection between Gluten on my hands and Celics.

On a different note, an allergist can do a "topical" contact test looking for reactions to different "surface" contacts. It is not the normal prick test. My daughter gets a nasty rash that is not excema and does not respond to normal meds. This test would involve something like tinfoil on her back for 2 days. and then back the the allergist for a reading of the results.

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I have terrible reactions to band aids, with my skin turning bright red and blistering and lasting over a week. I now buy the band aids for sensitive skin and the ones that are fabric. They don't react like the others. The other option is to put gauze on the cut and use paper tape to cover it. That won't cause a break out either. In my case, I believe it to be an allergy to latex. If I put on the Playtex Living gloves, my arms and hands break out terribly. You might want to have your daughter checked for a latex allergy as they can turn nasty later.

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What you are experiencing sounds like a contact dermatitist reaction to wheat. This has nothing at all to do with celiac.

richard

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Very VERY interesting! I think I'll bring this all up to the pediatrician next time we go there. One of her worst reactions was to one of the "sensitive skin" bandaids the doctor put on her after a vaccine. We've been using gauze and tape for years not. It's too bad, though, they don't come in loony toon prints!

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I'm confused. :o If you cannot get gluten through putting it on your skin, then why look to see what's in lotion??? Or shampoo, etc.? I guess I can understand shampoo because that can get in your eyes and ears, and maybe even run into your mouth. But what about the other stuff?

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Because you put lotion on your hands, and the hands can come into contact with the mouth.

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I'm curious now about why kids should be careful with things like playdo or glue that has gluten in it. Is it just the off chance that they'll eat the stuff that we have to be careful about? Then what about lotions and makeup and such? (I'm getting very confused.)

With the Playdough, there's always the idea that a child might put their hands in their mouth. Additionally, if you were to use playdough, get it under your nails or leave some on your skin, and then eat something without washing your hands (particularly finger-food :) ), the gluten from the playdough could be transferred to the food and ingested. The same goes for gluten-containing glues.

Lotions are basically the same problem as Playdough....as Tiffany explained, if your hands make contact with your mouth, there's the gluten. Also, if you bite your nails or touch something you're eating, there's the gluten transfer.

Finally, makeup is the same sort of problem.....I would assume that the problem with lipstick is ingestion as soon as it gets on any of the food you eat or water that you drink. I think awhile ago someone mentioned something about mascara causing eye irritation or something........

-celiac3270

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