{ Tuesday, March 23, 2004 }

I'm So Stupid.

I knew I was allergic to Skin-So-Soft. My mother always said I wasn't, and that the rash I kept getting came from something else. I was sure it was the Skin-So-Soft that was doing it.

My mother loved that product, and my paternal grandmother was an Avon Lady. So, we always had vats of the oily stuff around.

If you're not familiar with it... originally, it was an oil. Now you can buy variants in lotions and sprays and creams and anything. It worked as a bug repellent, moisturizer, scented body spray and sun screen in one. Also, it's intended use was as a "bath spray". So, you wash yourself with it, and then put it on as perfume, sunblock, bug repellent and moisturizer. It really does work for all of those things.

We stopped using it at our house after it was found to also be capable of taking tar (like, the tar we were using to cover the driveway) off clothing.

So, this past Christmas, my stepfather's sister gave me some Skin-So-Soft Body Wash. Shelly and I each got a bottle. Mom probably did too, because otherwise I think I would have just given mine to her in the car on the way home. I left it in my car with a mental note to hand it over to someone who could use it. Because Skin-So-Soft gives me a rash.

So, today I'm about to get in the shower when I remember that I'm out of body wash. It's actually last year's Christmas soap from that same step-aunt. This reminds me that I have this year's gift in my car. I put on my robe and run outside and grab it out of the gift bag behind the seat...

I saw that it was Skin-So-Soft, but I also remembered that it has been ten years since I got that rash and no one else really thought the Skin-So-Soft did it. And this is an actual, lathering soap. It doesn't claim to also be a bug repellent and a sun screen. It's not just a bottle of oil either. It wasn't quite the same thing. I really thought I would be fine.

Fortunately, I don't wash my whole body with body soap. I normally just scrub my feet and trunk with soap and the rest of my body (incuding my feet again) gets scoured with Apricot Scrub (it's not soap so much as pasty sand).

I noticed the rash on the back of my right hand first. Then I saw it on my stomach. I immediately got my hand soap from the sink and tried to wash the residue off with that. Then, just for good measure, I also used the Apricot Scrub everywhere that the Skin-So-Soft had been. I checked the bottle, looking for some sort of "in case of adverse reaction" instructions, but there aren't any.

I got out of the shower, confident that I had done everything I could by washing with a different soap and then ripping off a couple layers of skin with the body scrub. I didn't remember the rash being all that terrible, just ugly.

It's mostly gone already. It barely itches. The worst of it is my right hand and wrist, the part that had the longest contact with the soap.

So, now I guess I take that to the downstairs bathroom and let my roommates know it's theirs to use... then I have to go and get some other soap before I shower again.

posted by mary ann 12:22 PM