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How An Allergy Diagnosis Affected Our Budget

With a constant runny nose and tissues in every pocket, Mrs.CBB sought help from an allergy specialist.

For many suspected types of allergies visiting a specialist is the best option to narrow them down.

Today, I want to discuss Mrs. CBB’s newly confirmed allergy and how it’s affecting our budget.

How an Allergy diagnosis of limonene affected our monthly budget. 
Grapefruit
How being diagnosed with an allergy caused our monthly budget to increase.

Although we were hoping for a zero allergy result from testing that was not the case.

Below you will learn how much this allergy is costing us and why we spend the money we do.

Skin Prick Allergy Testing

Dog allergy after prick testing at the dermatologist.
Dog allergy after prick testing

Years ago, she had a skin allergy test done on the inner left arm, which revealed she had allergies.

  • Allergy to cats and dogs
  • Dust
  • Ragweed allergy
  • Grass pollen allergy
  • Tree allergy
  • Weed allergy

The skin allergy test is uncomfortable for anyone having the procedure done, especially if there is a reaction.

All she would describe is that she wanted the testing to be over and the itching to stop.

A good portion of her arm had allergy trails but what was most distinctive was ragweed and grass allergy.

What shocked her was the number of environmental allergies she had with ragweed was the highest.

Her love for gardening, flowers and picking weeds (it relaxes her) she’s no longer to do.

Over the years, she’s had both cats and dogs in her life, and they proved to be no issue with her.

Until now, we purchased a kitten for our son amid Covid-19 because he adores them.

We also think he was bored because he couldn’t see friends and ended up playing alone.

Since both Mrs. CBB and I are allergic to cats, we bought a kitten and hoped for the best.

The things we do for our children to make them happy.

It took a few weeks, but the runny nose started for both of us, along with sneezing.

Unusual Problems Started Happening

Since 2018 Mrs. CBB has had numerous dermatitis or rashes on her body that bothered her.

That was when the head-scratching began as she was diagnosed with folliculitis and then excoriation.

What is Excoriation?

Excoriation is a picking disorder diagnosed as Mrs. CBB couldn’t stop scratching the scabs on her head.

There were tiny bumps at the bottom of some hair follicles due to folliculitis.

She began picking her scalp, and it would get worse and then bleed and crust up again.

The more she would scratch the front of her head, it was easy to see the hair loss in the area.

The doctor told her to stop by wearing a hat to keep her hands away from her head.

That worked for a while, but the bald spot was still visible, and things needed to change.

She had already been through a test for Lupus as it presents in this same way it was not, thankfully.

Again she was sent to a dermatologist who had his practice outside of the hospital.

After numerous medications, which included a few spots on her face, she had to move on to a new doctor.

Nothing was working, so the last step was to visit an allergist who could conduct patch testing on her back.

Allergy Patch Testing

Allergy Patch Test For 90 Products
Allergy Patch Test For 90 Products

What is allergy patch testing?

Patch testing is when 90 different products are put on patches and taped to one’s back.

The patches are testing what allergens are causing problems such as dermatitis (rashes)

Since the skin prick and blood tests revealed environmental allergies, something more is needed.

Over 3-4 days, you must not shower and return daily to the allergist.

During this test, Mrs. CBB was miserable and wanted to rip the patches off.

She was allergic to something, and that something was Limonene.

Once you get your diagnosis, you have to avoid what products or foods cause an allergic reaction.

With Limonene, it’s not that easy as it’s in so many foods and beauty products.

Patch testing is a process to detect allergic contact dermatitis to something a person has contacted at home, leisure or at work.

It involves applying patches with test substances in small chambers or discs to a person’s back.

The patches are secured with hypoallergenic tapes. No needle pricking is involved.

https://www.dermcoll.edu.au/atoz/allergy-patch-testing/

Folliculitis Allergy

Folliculitis on the head scratched and bleeding.
Folliculitis on the head scratched and bleeding

Understanding Folliculitis

What is Folliculitis?

Folliculitis is when the hair follicles anywhere on your body become inflamed.

Ingrown hairs and folliculitis were a problem for Mrs. CBB over a few parts of her body.

One summer, it caused her back to break out in little bumps with a clear substance inside.

We figured that it was spreadable as it ended up on her chest, face and ultimately her hair.

Eventually, it was in a large circle around the top of her head that got very painful.

Visiting Your Family Doctor

After discussing her symptoms with our family doctor, she decided to get Mrs. CBB skin allergy testing.

It was a relatively simple procedure, also known as prick allergy testing.

The prick testing includes the inside of your arm with a needle and then wait for any reactions.

I was fortunate that our doctor’s office did the allergy testing on-site, so no driving.

Straight after, she said the arm had trails and bumps from the allergy concoctions.

Getting An Allergy Diagnosis

The second trip to the allergist happened in 2021, where a nurse completed patch testing on her back.

Patches with the allergen were taped to her back to see what, if any, results come back.

She had to visit the allergist three days in a row, which was driving back and forth.

There was no ability to shower during the product allergy testing process, although a sponge bath was fine.

After three trips out of town to the allergist, she was finally diagnosed with an allergy to Limonene and Linalool.

Limonene Allergy Symptoms

Basket of Oranges, lemons, limes that contain Limonene citrus which causes an allergy for some people.
A basket of Oranges, lemons, and limes containing Limonene citrus causes an allergy for some people.

We had never heard of those two words before, but now they are a part of Mrs. CBB’s life.

The main symptoms she would experience were a runny nose when she brushed her teeth, sneezing with aerosol, incense or essential oils in the air.

Other symptoms of a limonene allergy could be vomiting, nausea, sore stomach, coughing and diarrhea.

Lastly, skin dermatitis was the big one that caused tiny bumps on the skin with a clear fluid.

Limonene

What is limonene?

Limonene is a chemical found in the peels of citrus fruits and in other plants. It is used to make medicine. In foods, beverages, and chewing gum, limonene is used as a flavoring.

In pharmaceuticals, limonene is added to help medicinal ointments and creams penetrate the skin.

webmd.com

Often, all you need to do is touch a citrus fruit and parts of your body such as your face to react.

It may come right away or take some time before it reacts. We eat lots of citrus in this house in the form of lemons and limes.

Although we have a bottle of lemon juice in the refrigerator, if we see a bag of lemons and limes on the reduced rack, we buy them.

Our 7-year-old son loves using the juicer to squeeze the juice out of citrus fruits.

Linalool

What is linalool?

Linalool is a naturally derived ingredient from essential oils that is used in skincare and cosmetic formulations to improve the scent.

Linalool is generally associated with lavender however, over 200 plants produce linalool and it can also be found in citrus, mint, rosewood, and cinnamon oils. 

TheDermreview.com

She was very overwhelmed after she knew more about what limonene and linalool were.

When you leave the allergist office, all they give you is a printout of the allergy information, and away you go.

She wasn’t ready for the sheer amount of foods and health and beauty products that included limonene.

Ditching Products That Contain Limonene or Linalool

All products are fragrance-free and have no limonene apart from the Garnier Hair Spray which contains both linalool and limonene.
All fragrance-free products have no limonene apart from the Garnier Hair Spray, which contains linalool and limonene.

When we arrived back home, she immediately went to our master bathroom and began reading labels.

Sure enough, almost every product she had, including her toothpaste, had both or one of these ingredients.

We will donate any products that I cannot use to a woman’s shelter, so they don’t end up in the bin.

The problematic part is replenishing her health and beauty products without massive budget increases.

However, like anything else, prices increase when you have a problem, and only high-end products control them.

We’re hoping to purchase what she needs at Shoppers only on 20x the point days, so she gets the best return.

Foods Containing Limonene

Not only is limonene in health and beauty products, but it’s the foods we eat every day.

Limonene is found in many foods because it is used as a flavoring agent It naturally occurs in lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit and mandarins; but, can be found in chewing gum, ice cream, soda drinks, fruit juices, baked goods, extracts for baking and puddings.

www.fruitsandveg.org

Since Mrs. CBB follows a keto diet, she doesn’t eat much fruit apart from approved berries.

She does add fresh lemon or lime juice to meats and salads and will continue to do so.

In the end, she has to deal with an allergic reaction to dermatitis if it flairs up.

Allergens such as limonene, linalool are not life-threatening for most people, but for some it’s deadly.

Those with a severe allergy must carry an epi-pen with them as determined by a doctor.

Health and Beauty Products Made With Limonene

The most significant expense to our monthly budget fell under the health and beauty products.

Since linalool and limonene are ingredients in many beauty products and essential oils, she stays away from them.

For example, anything made with tea tree oil, lavender, along with cologne and perfume, will start an allergic reaction.

When linalool is in an oxygenized environment, it becomes oxidized, which causes allergic sensitivity.

Mostly she will have a runny nose and sneeze often, and she will take an allergy fighter such as Claritin.

Below are some essential oils that are safe as they are safe for limonene and linalool suffers.

Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Sweet Fennel, Clove, Frankincense, Carraway, Labdanum, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Myrrh, and Vetiver. 

The Derm Review

She has yet to test any of the above oils but certainly will give them a try.

Recently she purchased an essential oil diffuser for our house but would gift it to her sister.

NuSkin 24 Whitening Tooth Flouride  fragrance free and limonene free.
NuSkin 24 Whitening Tooth Flouride

Years ago, Mrs. CBB visited a nose specialist because her nose would run when she brushed her teeth.

He did prick testing on her arm, which she had done the year prior and found the same results.

That meant that she still had to deal with a runny nose each time she brushed her teeth.

A friend who is a dentist found a toothpaste without fragrance, linalool or limonene.

She ordered two bottles for Mrs. CBB to see if it made any difference when brushing her teeth.

We had discussed that each time Mrs. CBB brushed her teeth, she would get a runny nose.

Miraculously a toothpaste made by NU SKIN called AP 24 Whitening Flouride solved the problem.

No more runny nose using this toothpaste; however, it comes with a hefty $52 price tag for a two-pack.

Limonene In Beauty Products

Fragrance Free T Gel Shampoo and Pantene Shampoo For Folliculitis
Fragrance-Free T Gel Shampoo and Pantene Shampoo For Folliculitis

What is limonene used for?

It is used to make medicine.

Limonene is used for obesity, cancer, and bronchitis, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

You’ll find limonene in foods, beverages, and chewing gum, as it’s used as a flavoring.

In pharmaceuticals, limonene is added to help medicinal ointments and creams penetrate the skin.

Web.md

We made a trip to Shoppers Drug Mart on a 20x the points day to read product labels.

Replenshing Health And Beauty Is Pricey

After finding all the products she uses contains limonene, we had to replace everything.

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Bar Soap
  • Face wash from the dermatologist
  • SkinCeutecals SPF 50
  • Facial Scrubs from the dermatologist
  • Face toner
  • Hand Cream
  • Body cream and scrub

She also had a prescription for Neutrogena Shampoo called T-Gel, which is a therapeutic shampoo.

The T-Gel is behind the counter and costs $12 a bottle. It controls the symptoms of dandruff, psoriasis and contact dermatitis.

She also found a fragrance-free Ultra-gentle daily cleanser by Neutrogena, which she uses on her face.

Luckily she found three bars of body soap that were fragrance-free and contained no limonene or linalool.

It was a struggle to find any, but there are soap bars at the Bulk Barn we used to buy, so we will still check there.

The cost for the three bars of soap on sale was $5.99 at Shoppers Drugmart.

As well she located Seventh Generation Free and Clear, fragrance-free hand soap on Amazon Canada.

If you look closely at the Fructise Big Volume hairspray ingredients, you will notice it contains both limonene and linalool.

If you have limonene or a linalool allergy, we would love to hear about what products you use.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal with Triton at Ontario spa and dermatologist. Hair removal due to folliculitis
Laser Hair Removal with Triton

One of the ideas before patch testing was to try laser hair removal.

She started about two years ago with laser hair removal and has since finished her legs, Brazillian and back (light hairs).

The results are excellent, and Mrs. CBB says she would have done it earlier if she could have.

We estimate close to $8,000-$10,000 to be spent on laser hair removal, which is typical.

The costs are certainly not cheap, but the time and money she saves will pay off in the end.

Changes To Our Monthly Budget

How did the limonene allergy affect our budget?

Quite a bit, although some expenses are one-time costs.

Over the past year, you may have noticed a significant increase in our health and beauty budget category.

Now you know why there was an increase and nothing we could have done to fix the problem other than what we did.

Recently a CBB fan told me she was unsubscribing because we were no longer frugal.

I don’t disclose every part of our life when I share our monthly budget. However, I wanted you to know this.

She was affected by not knowing why we were overspending, but we were in the process of figuring it all out.

Be prepared for emergencies because, at any time, something could happen that is long-term.

For now, the laser hair removal is almost completed on her entire body to reduce any folliculitis.

The final cost will end around the $10,000 mark as mentioned above; however, it’s worth it if she feels like a million bucks.

Budgets Often Change Without Notice

No one should suffer if they have the money to change life without having to go into debt.

Discussion: Do you have any allergies that have caused you to increase your budget categories?

Please leave me your comments below and tell me how the allergy has impacted your budget.

Thanks for reading,

Mr. CBB

How An Allergy Diagnosis Affected Our Budget

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