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Confuscious's avatar

Why do we sometimes become allergic to something only later in life?

Asked by Confuscious (957 points ) January 27th, 2010

I have a shirt that is 100% Acrylic. I have worn it for years and then about 2 months ago I became allergic to it, but for some reason only my arms are affected by this. We also recently moved into a house that was newly painted. I have two other jackets too that have this affect on my arms.
I’ve also become allergic to perfume. I was able to wear it until about 8 years ago and then I started getting migraines from any perfumed products.
Why was it fine for me to use perfume and wear acrylic and now I’m allergic to it? What causes this and is it possible to ‘cure’ it?

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14 Answers

HTDC's avatar

Perhaps you swapped washing detergents 2 months ago. Maybe that’s why your shirt is causing an allergy…just a thought.

marinelife's avatar

This is an interesting article that talks about why allergies may show up later in life.

Here is an excerpt:

“Finally, patients may develop allergies later in life out of the blue. Why this happens, again, we do not know and genetics may not be playing as important a role. Patients who develop allergies for the first time later in life are also at risk for developing asthma later in life and may have more severe asthma disease.”

lilikoi's avatar

Second @marinelife‘s response. No one really understands what causes allergies.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I was told this at the hospital: it’s sort of an overload. After numerous exposures, it can tip things, so that your body becomes allergic. I found this out after being bitten by a snake, after that, I had a bee sting, (had them as a child, no problem) and had anaphalactic shock.

mowens's avatar

Because your body gets all pissed.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Perhaps it’s the toxic chemicals in the perfumes and laundry detergent/softener or the paint. Todays soaps, paints and perfumes are made more and more cheaper to make more and more money for the maker. And there’s hardly any consumer protection laws so the cosmetic industry can put in what ever cheap shitola they want to.
I think your body is intelligent and is telling you the truth.

CMaz's avatar

I comes from eating too much McDonalds.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Why bother so much about this stuff. You can easily switch to another source of material that won’t cause allergy to you. Allergies can’t be cured,it can only be avoided.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Thanks @Confuscious And as for perfumes…. I can’t wear any that are made in the USA. For that reason- it hurts my head. I wear French perfumes ONLY. And spray into the air and walk into it. I became aware that spraying on my neck was making goose skin-so I stopped. Spraying perfume on my hair would damage it. I love fragrances, but am becoming so chemically sensitive.
And now a word from my liver: “Quit with the chemicals already!!!”

Confuscious's avatar

@OneMoreMinute I miss being able to wear perfume. Maybe I should try different fragrance houses until I find one that doesn’t give me a migraine. And now a word from me: “Listen to your liver!”.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

I have one cat who won’t go near me if I’m wearing a fragrance. My other cats don’t mind.

French parfum mini’s seem to give very little trouble at all.
Shalimar, Channel #5, Prada Milano orange blossom, Cartier Le Baiser Du Dragon, Kenzo Amour give no trouble to me, just not on the neck or hair.

I hope you find one that your ‘liver’ likes!

knitfroggy's avatar

I developed an allergy to penicillin. I’d never had any trouble with it my entire life until I was about 24 years old. I have always wondered if it has anything to do with the fact that I had strep throat about 50 times as a kid and got penicillin shots in the butt every time I had it. I have a lot of allergies to medications. It makes me worry every time I have to get medicine.

mattbrowne's avatar

There are many theories. Excessive hygiene during childhood. Lack of exposure to animals during childhood. Children who grow up on farms seem to have fewer allergies.

registerrawr's avatar

Migraines = NOT an allergic reaction. You’d be allergic if it made you itchy or unable to breathe well.
Allergic contact dermatitis, like what you described with the shirt, can develop at any point and researchers aren’t really sure why. It’s strange, but not impossible, for acrylic to cause allergies.

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