March 08, 2005
Are You Allergic to Me?
Sometimes I think my husband is allergic to me.
He'll start a bout of coughing and sneezing when he's been close to me and I can't help thinking, "is it me?" He reassures me it's just because he gets stuff in his lungs, but I wonder.
I ran across this story and had to share it with you. On the surface, it sounds terrible and I know we would all feel terrible if it happened to us. But then I started thinking about it and thought, "Hmm.." Read on...
The man who is allergic to his girlfriend
by JAYA NARAIN, Daily Mail 10:22am 15th February 2005
When they moved in together, Matt Baines and Cloe Height envisioned romantic evenings cuddled up on the sofa.
But within a month they realised getting close was out of the question.
A kiss or embrace would bring Mr Baines out in a nasty red rash. In fact, sometimes just brushing past Miss Height would provoke an angry reaction in his skin.
After investigating different soaps, deodorants, shampoos and moisturisers, the couple were told the harshest of facts by their GP.
Mr Baines is allergic to his girlfriend.
Thankfully the effects are limited to once a month when a change in Miss Height's hormones, brought on by her monthly cycle, are absorbed through her skin.
Whenever Mr Baines, 26, comes into contact with his girlfriend at these times it triggers a natural production of antibodies in his body to fight off allergy, which shows up on his skin like a red heat rash.
The only solution doctors can offer is for him to steer clear of her at these times. So for four days a month, the couple keep their distance.
Miss Height, 24, who works for a firm which makes products for sensitive skin, took more than a professional interest in the diagnosis.
"When the doctor said we had to stay away from each other at that time of the month, I wondered what was wrong with me," she said.
"It was very hard going for a while. I felt really guilty and upset. But Matt is really down to earth and he just laughed it off."
The allergic reaction is known as urticaria - Latin for "stinging nettle" - and causes inflammation.
Itchy and sometimes painful, it can last for days though the condition can be treated by avoidcing the allergic triggers and using antihistamine creams.
"Matt says things like 'I've got to go out with friends because I'm allergic to you' and we laugh about it," Miss Height said.
Despite their monthly separation, she said their 18-month relationship had strengthened.
The couple who live in Didsbury, Manchester, believe the condition is gradually improving.
"I can give him a kiss but not spend any length of time in ontact with him," Miss Height said.
"Most guys would run a mile if they found that out. But he's not like that. By the end of our first date I knew he was the one for me."
Doctors believe the allergic reaction only became apparent after the couple moved in together because they were much closer, sharing a bed, and far greater exposure to Miss Height's hormonal changes.
Dr Chris Lovell, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: "This is an a extremely rare case but not completely unknown.
"Hormones are generally not a cause for allergic reactions and people are more likely to suffer reactions from chemicals in hair products or soaps.
"This is rare and it is also much more common for the woman to allergic to the man during certain times of the month though it is also possible for the male to develop an allergic to high levels of hormones."
He said: "Special dermatological tests would have to be carried out to ascertain which particular hormone he was allergic to."
I don't know ladies, a condition that forces men to stay away at that time of the month? When a woman feels the least romantic? Doesn't sound half bad to me. :-D