AMUK Healthy Living Blog

May
27

Not Just Allergic to The News!

Author : Hazel Econs
Related Conditions : Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

The newspaper rarely focuses on good news, frequently it's content is quite depressing.  This was especially the case for one newspaper reporter.

After 38 years in the business as a reporter, Michael Dresser started to suffer with persistent itchy, watery eyes and skin problems.  Every morning he would wake up with such swollen eyes he could barely see.

Initially the medical profession were unable to identify a cause until a patch test revealed he had an hypersensitivity to pine resin, a chemical secreted from the trunks of pine trees and used in newspaper ink.  The patch test also identified a sensitivity to dyes used on clothes so he had to avoid wearing dark clothes as well as needing to wear rubber gloves when handling newspaper print.  Thankfully we now can read our newspapers, glossy magazines and books on line, so for those who suffer with printing ink problems, at least they can continue to have access to reading material.

Newspaper allergy is not a rare condition.  It is reported to be one of the top five causes of contact dermatitis.  We see many patients in our clinics who react to the smell of printing ink as well handling printed matter.   

Did you realise that that these sensitivities can develop at any time?  You may have been able to handle or eat certain items for many years and then suddenly they cause you a problem.  That is why it is often difficult to identify the culprit without expert help.  One doesn't suspect items or materials that we are in contact with frequently.  It is exactly the "frequently" that is the problem.

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