The Allergy Scoop: Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Cocoa Butter

Tree nut allergies are on the rise and can often affect those with eczema. This type of allergy can be just as fatal as a peanut allergy and is for some reason often overlooked by those outside of the medical community. My son has eczema and is allergic to almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans, but not peanuts. I prefer to use natural, non-toxic products to moisturize his chronically dry skin, but most these products contain variations of oils that seem to be in the tree nut family, such as coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. Even some drug store creams contain these oils, so they almost seem to be unavoidable these days.

If you have a tree nut allergy, should you stay away from these oils? The answer I’m afraid is not so cut and dry. I’ve rounded up some facts to share so you can make an informed decision with your physician.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil and Palm Oil are the primary base in most natural soaps. Many use coconut oil for eczema treatments because it’s known as an excellent emollient and for it’s antibacterial properties. They are also in many balms and salves marketed for those with eczema. And recently many physicians, even Dr. Oz, have begun to encourage anyone with eczema or severely dry skin to try this nutrient rich oil either in cooking or applied directly to the skin. Coconut Oil is one popular and diverse oil!

Learn More: Everything You Should Know About Using Coconut Oil for Eczema

My son has tree nut allergies and if eats coconut one day, he’s fine. If he eats it a second day in a row, he may break out in eczema and/or itching. We used to apply coconut oil to his skin, but now it makes him itchy.

But is coconut a tree nut? Elizabeth from Onespot Allergy also has a son with tree nut allergies, but he doesn’t seem to have any trouble consuming coconut. She wrote a very thorough post here on Coconut Oil and tree nut allergies.  She points out that there seems to be a lot of confusion around coconut and possible allergic reactions. Essentially, Dr. Watson from Allergic Living Magazine states the coconut is actually a large seed from a tree of the palm family. The FDA defines it as a tree nut. FAAN recommends speaking with your doctor if there is concern of an allergic reaction. It seems to be that most allergic reactions to coconut have occurred in individuals without a tree nut allergy. So in theory you should be able to eat a coconut or apply coconut oil to your skin if you have a tree nut allergy.

Shea Butter

Like coconut oil, my son was originally ok with shea butter applied on his skin, but after time he developed a reaction to it. Products containing shea butter in high doses make his skin very itchy.

Is shea a tree nut? FAAN and the FDA classify shea as a tree nut. According to Dr. Watson, shea nuts are indeed a tree nut, but there have been no documented allergic reactions to it. He states this is likely because the oil, used in skincare products, contains little protein, which is what triggers an allergic reaction. Dr. Kanwaljit K. Chawla of Mount Sinai School of Medicine conducted a study and found that shea butter only contains 1/3oth of the amount of proteins found in cashews and even less than the amount found in peanuts. Dr. Chawla introduced shea butter into blood samples from individuals with tree nut allergies and found the immunoglobulin E antibodies barely attached to the shea butter, so no allergic reaction occurred.

Although allergies to pretty much anything are possible, a true allergy to shea is very rare.

Learn More: Why You Shouldn’t Worry About A Shea Butter Allergy

Cocoa Butter

We have yet to try Cocoa Butteron my son’s skin, but I hope to soon. He eats chocolate with no problem, so it’s unlikely he’d react topically.

Is cocoa a tree nut? Cocoa butter is derived from the cocoa bean, the same origin as chocolate. The beans grow in pods, and much like coconut, in different circles it is considered a tree nut, a seed, or a fruit.  Allergies to the cocoa bean itself are extremely rare. In fact, reactions to chocolate are usually related to a shellfish allergy or cross contamination with nuts, dairy, soy, etc rather than connected to a true chocolate allergy. So, if you have a severe allergy to peanuts or other tree nuts, make sure your cocoa butter or chocolate is free from contamination with other nuts. As it turns out, cockroaches are quite fond of the cocoa bean and larger quantities than you’d like of these critters actually end up in many products derived from cocoa beans. Ick! Since cockroaches are related to shellfish, as are dust mites, some people with allergies to any of these items could potentially react to cocoa or cocoa butter.

 

The Bottom line: Speak with your physician if you have doubts about using coconut oil or shea or cocoa butter and always apply a very small amount of the oil/butter as a patch test before applying liberally to ensure you don’t have a reaction.

Please note that I am not a medical professional. You should speak with your physician before trying any of the oils mentioned above if you or your child have a tree nut allergy. It’s always better to be cautious.

 

[1/19/2017 Update: What we now use and love is the Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream (previously called Manuka Honey Skin Cream). It’s tree nut free, shea butter free, coconut free and cocoa butter free. Perfect for us.

Do you have a tree nut allergy? What do you use on your skin?

158 Comments

  1. Sabra on January 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I am an adult with a tree-nut allergy [not peanuts] and have never reacted to cocoa butter/shea butter/ coconut oil topically but like your son have troubles eating coconut. If I eat coconut [like in a cookie with coconut meat in it] I react a little. However, I am fine with coconut milk and coconut oil in cooking. I also used to be allergic to chocolate but out grew it! The world of allergies is a confusing one.

    • Jennifer on January 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      It certainly is a confusing world! Did you find you reacted worse if you had coconut more than one day in a row?

      • Sabra on January 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

        I cannot remember all the details it was a long time ago. I am actually not fond of coconut desserts but there was this bakeshop that made really tasty cookies and I would walk by and get them more than once a week. I soon realized when I ate them that the joints in my fingers would swell and hurt the next morning. I also have a dairy sensitivity [not anaphylaxis] and if I eat it more than one day in a row it bothers me [headaches, low mood and if I eat too often, eczema]. I usually eat it on a 4 day rotation or not at all or stick to raw milk cheese or goat products which bother me less. I also have less or almost no problems with European dairy products. I think it is because of the different protein structure of Euro milk. This is a good read about it https://www.amazon.ca/Devil-Milk-Illness-Health-Politics/dp/1603581022

        It’s a journey of self discovery 🙂

        • Jennifer on January 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

          It’s possible, but more than likely it’s what we put in our milk here, unless you drink organic milk.

          • Seema on June 25, 2017 at 11:53 am

            The FDA does not monitor organic food processes and USDA organic has become much more lenient so I do not agree that Organic is better or safer. I eat Organic but I do think in Europe they still ban GMO and more than half of the pesticides and herbicides compared with the US.



  2. Sheri on January 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I never had issues with cocoa butter until I was pregnant with my son 25 years ago. During pregnancy I tried cocoa butter topically for stretch marks and as the pregnancy went on, I developed a reaction that began as slow and mild but which became very fast and strong. It should also be noted that I’d had a very problematic pregnancy with my previous child (toxemia and preeclampsia) but the pregnancy where cocoa butter became an issue was incident free and easy–until the baby came 5 weeks early. Any lotion, soap, or sunscreen (the biggest issue for me) with cocoa butter causes intense burning, rash, and sometimes hives. Yet I can eat chocolate without problem. I don’t like white choc or milk choc, but frequently eat dark chocolate. In the past few years I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and began to develop food reactions. Sometimes–but not always–coconut doesn’t feel right on my tongue. I suspect I will have to use the once every 3 or 4 days rule to avoid developing a problem. I can no longer eat chicken, wheat, gluten– because of strong reactions. Oh yes–that premature son is also very allergic to cocoa butter.

    • Jennifer on January 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

      That’s very interesting and a little scary about the cocoa butter. It’s hard to imagine the cocoa butter caused early labor, but I guess there is really no way to know for sure. At least you now know to avoid it and the other foods that cause you trouble. I’m able to eat a food I’m sensitive to every other day and it seems to be ok – at least for coconut and almonds. Gluten, dairy, and refined sugars, I try to stay away from as much as possible, but do enjoy them as a special treat now and then. I mean, who can resist a good baguette or chocolate croissant when it’s just within reach? Certainly not me 🙂

      • Sheri on January 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm

        Oh I’m not suggesting cocoa butter led to Alex being premature because by late in the pregnancy I was no longer using it. I believe thyroid disease and autoimmune disease is what led to early delivery. I just find it interesting how allergic reactions and sensitivities can develop after a pregnancy (or post-surgery or after a trauma). It also was interesting to me that Alex developed the same issue with cocoa butter products. And no, I never indulge in the foods or products I am strongly reactive to or allergic to. Chocolate croissants are off my radar forever (unless the gluten vaccine being studied actually ends up working)–although what I miss much more is French bread, anything made with a roux, and true French toast. But they aren’t worth it.

        • Jennifer on January 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm

          Mmmm, yum. But I understand – knowing pain and discomfort will follow certain foods makes them so much less appealing. And you are right – it is interesting how intolerances or allergies can develop at any stage in our lives.

      • Jerry on June 29, 2017 at 11:28 pm

        I used Shea Nut Oil as a carrier oil in my homemade beard oil recipe. I bought it one week, used it once that week. I put the cap back on, it sat in my office for about two weeks before I went to grab it to make more oil. I noticed the contents had separated into three different substances: mucky, oil, and softened material had risen to the top. Looked a lot like lotion. I figured it didn’t go bad but didn’t like the look of it in the bottle like that so i opted to throw it away. Before I did, i squoze out tiny pin drops of the lotiony substance onto my cuticles. I rubbed it in, and threw the bottle away. I went to work the next day, I put my rubber gripper thumbs on, and delivered mail all day. I took them off at the end of the day, and my fingers were ON FIRE and SWOLLEN. Very sensitive to the touch, They ended up scaling and to this day react to the latex/rubber thumbs I wear to grip the mail. Any idea why i might be having this problem with my thumbs? I read on allergies somewhere that latex is made with shea oil. Im thinking my latex or rubber thumbs may have she oil in them, and every time i put the thumbs on, i spark up a reaction again. Never happened before I rubbed the separated she nut oil on my cuticles. My thumb tips are always dry now and very sensitive to the touch. When that all happened, my thumbs at the cuticles and first knuckle had welts on them. Thanks for any advice anyone may be able to shed on this. Thanks again!

        • Jennifer Roberge on June 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm

          Oh my goodness! What a story! It does sound like you may have developed an allergy to latex. Do you still wear the latex gloves? I would suggest wet wrapping your fingers/hands for a few nights and see if you can find some relief and heal up your skin.

          • Jane Stratton on July 2, 2017 at 9:33 pm

            Just speculating that the oil could have caused the chemicals and/or latex in the thumb grippers to become more able to soak in to your skin and that was how you became sensitized.



        • Toni on August 11, 2017 at 10:33 am

          Definitely looks like you’ve developed an allergy to latex/rubber. They say about 50% of people with latex allergies are sensitive to Shea also. You can take a test now called T.R.U.E. chemical allergy test. It tests for 35 known chemical allergies. It saved me from 20 years of misery. For immediate relief, soaking your hands in a sea salt water solution (think of the ocean!) for twenty minutes will first sting and then sooth inflamed skin. A light moisturizing and cotton gloves will feel great. I need to avoid parabens and other stuff also, so read your ingredient list on moisturizers and keep it simple. If you have no alternative to the rubber grips, cut the fingers off cotton gloves (I buy bulk at SARA Glove) and they’ll act as a buffer. It’s only a temp solution though. You’ll probably have to avoid rubber/latex products for life unfortunately.

  3. jeanniemshaver on March 9, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Hi,
    I have histamine intolerance which I finally learned of and was diagnosed with by finding this incredible Dr of Immunology. She is on the cutting edge in her field and has only a couple of peers worldwide who can compare to her breadth of knowledge re allergy, nutrition and immunology. She does a package of 3 skype consults for a very reasonable price with, what seems like, unlimited emails. Just thought Id throw it out there:) I also follow The Low Histamine Chef who has helped me introduce tons of anti inflammatory and anti histamine foods into my diet:)
    Jeannie

    • Stephanie on July 21, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Jeannie,

      Do you remember the name of the doctor ?

  4. Julia on April 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I’ve been using a body butter that consists of Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil sweet almond oil and macadamia nut oil on my 5 mo old.. Her skin is still dry, flakey and she itches like crazy the next morning. I’m just wondering if this would be considered a “reaction”? Any insights as to whether I should be concerned and switch to another type of moisturizer?

    The calendulis cream by homeopathic Quebec has really helped her eczema patches on her face, but as soon as I stop using it her skin flares up again. Is it safe to use on a daily basis for long term? I’ve been using it on her face and am abit worried since we can’t seem to stop using it.

    • Jennifer on April 12, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Hi Julia –

      It’s very possible she’s reacting to the body butter you’re using. Is there any way for you to get your hands on at least raw shea butter and virgin coconut oil to try them individually on her skin and see how she does the next morning? I sell raw shea butter, but it’s a very big container. Maybe you can visit a local African store, usually the only place you can find raw shea locally. Whole Foods or health food stores shoudl sell virgin (cold processed) coconut oil you can buy. If you have to buy a big container, you can use the rest to cook with. If you test these out on her skin, at least then you’d know if one of those ingredients is one you need to avoid from now on. They are in a lot of natural balms and creams as you know. I don’t think jojoba would be an issue, but you never know. But I am concerned about the almond and macadamia nut oil because she could be be reacting to the tree nuts. Try testing just shea and coconut separately. See how she does. Then I’d try a cream without any nut oils whatsoever. Maybe something with sunflower seed oil, hemp, avocado, etc. I can help you, I’m sure I have something at the store you could try. In fact, I think the Eczema Ease Balm is free of all that, but I’d have to check, if you’re interested.

      About the Calendulis Cream. That’s really interesting, because most the parents I’ve spoken with say the opposite. My son reacts horribly when we were giving him steroid cream and then took a break, but with the Calendulis, he’s fine and doesn’t depend on it. What the homeopathic doctor told me is that if the cream doesn’t work, then there are more than likely still issues going on inside the body. He makes an oral homeopathic tincture that goes with the cream that I hope to start selling. He claims that if the cream by itself doesn’t work, the drops will allow you to see results. My guess for your son is that maybe there are some triggers he’s still dealing with that haven’t been identified. I’d love to talk to you about this more. Please call me or email me if you prefer. And I can send you the homeopathic doctor’s email if you’d like to reach out to him directly as well. jennifer@eczemacompany.com

      • Julia Luong on April 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

        Hi Jennifer

        Thanks for your prompt reply to my inquiry. I first wanted to say your website has been a tremendous help for people looking to find something to help their babies with eczema. I know for me it has given me great insight on where to start looking for answers about eczema. In addition the scratch me not mitts and the calendulis cream have been great tools to control my daughters eczema.

        I would like to try a cream without any tree nuts to see how it goes. Would you recommend the eczema ease balm or the manuka cream? Any pros with going with one over the other? Would one help more with the itching than the other?

        I would like to contact the homeopathic doctor and ask him what exactly is in the calendulis cream to make sure I am safely using it on my daughter. We have been using it off and on for about a month now and since there is no real instructions or a complete ingredients list I am getting abit concerned.

        I am about to place another order for some more scratch me not mitts, calendulis cream and moisturizer but will wait to hear your feedback.

        Thanks for your time and your excellent website!

        Julia

        • Jennifer on April 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

          Hi Julia – Thank you so much for comments! I’m thrilled the ScratchMeNot mittens and Calendulis Cream have been so helpful for your daughter – they’ve been lifesavers for my son as well. As far as the other creams, the Eczema Ease Balm helps my itchy eczema outbreaks pretty quickly, but doesn’t moisturize as well as the Manuka Honey Skin Cream. You could try a small Eczema Ease Balm and the Manuka Honey to see which you prefer. Please email me and I’ll send you Michel Groleau’s email – he’ll be happy to discuss the Calendulis Cream with you. jennifer@eczemacompany.com

          Thank you.
          Jennifer

        • Danielle seruntine on August 8, 2018 at 6:45 pm

          hi my name is danielle and I know shea butter comes from a nut in a tree because I just looked it up on my phone but how ever I am totally allergic to shea butter I am 17 years old I been allergic to it since I was little my mom and grandmother said whenever I use to use it they would have to take me to the hospital because I would get hives and swell up very badly I got this eos lip balm from one of the dollar stores where I live at and I don’t think I read the label on it before I bought it because didn’t have my glasses on that I used it once and my lips were feeling weird but I took it off right away and got the label out of my purse and put my glasses back on and it said made with shea butter so I use my other one that I have that doesn’t contain that ingredient

  5. Amber on May 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I have never had any kind of food allergy, but when I was pregnant with my son I used cocoa butter and quit using it because it didn’t work. When I was pregnant with my daughter I tried the cocoa butter again and immediately developed a red, itchy rash. When my son was little I tried some shea butter wipes. I felt terrible because I noticed he was getting such a red bottom. A few days after I started using them I started to scratch my ankles all the time (it was summer time and I have a tendency to sit cross legged and touch my ankles). The prolonged exposure of using the wipes caused the oils to seep into my hands and the touching of my ankles transferred it. It was HORRIBLE! I had to wrap my ankles at night since I would wake up clawing at them, and my poor little guy’s red tushy cleared right up after we got rid of the wipes. I used to always have cats growing up and always had really bad allergies (hay fever, etc). Turns out my hay fever is really mild, I am extremely allergic to cats and so is my son. (We discovered that when he was 1 year old). Both my kids have very sensitive skin, but no food allergies as well. It’s crazy how much shea butter is in everything lately-and not properly labeled as well. Bath and Body Works put shea butter in all of their shower gels over a year ago and I recently bought a can of sensitive shave gel that had shea butter listed nowhere on the front of the can, but listed in tiny print on the back of the can. Even if it’s not “technically” considered an allergy you know your body better than anyone else.

    • Jennifer on May 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Amber – Shea butter is not a common allergy, but then again, we can develop allergies to literally anything – so it’s really not surprising. I wonder if you developed the allergy during your pregnancy or earlier in life, but didn’t experience a reaction until later in life. I’m sure with shea companies often use the latin name, just make sure you’re aware of what that is. Thank you so much for your comment. Wishing you a lifetime of shea free days 🙂 Jennifer

      • Lisa Marie on July 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        Actually, shea butter is a common allergen, just not a well documented one. Since it is in so many natural products these days, its hard to avoid, but I recently threw all the products I had containing shea butter out. I was having what looked like adult onset acne, and with all the other co-occurring factors in my life at the time, it took awhile to realize it was the shea in many of my favorite soaps and moisturizers that was causing the problem. My reaction did not seem like an allergic reaction as it did not itch, but like painful acne. I would definitely say avoid use on face, as use on my body seemed fine, but I won’t even do that anymore as I don’t want to risk cross contamination. I have recently found out sensitivity to shea is quite common in those who are sensitive to latex, which I am. Hope this information helps!

        • Jennifer on July 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm

          Very helpful, thanks Lisa! I’m glad you’ve shared this here for anyone worried about a shea allergy.

    • Abi on June 23, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Shea Butter may sound out warning bells for those who have nut allergies but for those who have a LATEX allergy be warned. I have a latex allergy. After months of using this product, my eczema got worse. Now that I have stopped using this butter, my eczema has improved.

      • Jennifer on June 25, 2013 at 11:57 am

        Hi Abi –

        I’m so sorry to hear about your latex allergy and that it’s linked to shea butter. Thank you for sharing your experience. Jennifer

  6. Jennifer M. on July 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Allergies are tricky things! I’ve had them all my life. Food & environmental. I’m pretty good at controlling by avoiding. I tried making a home made eye cream this week and used Palmer’s cocoa butter creme as the base. I had one of the worst allergic reactions of my life! I broke out in a rash on my chest and face, & eyes swollen. I was surprised because I had used the palmer’s cocoa butter lotion for stretch marks during my pregnancy. The difference: beeswax. The creme has it & the lotion does not. A lot of lotions & creams have it in them, especially the natural ones. I’m very allergic to bees. My reaction was to the beeswax. Just a thought that might help!

    • Jennifer on July 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Jennifer – It’s not the first time I’ve heard of the beeswax allergy. Glad you figured it out! Make sure to stay away from propolis too then. Curious, do you tolerate honey well? Jennifer

      • Jennifer M. on July 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

        Actually I have never had problems ingesting even raw honey and never had problems with vitamins with beeswax in them. I can’t figure out why the topical caused such an extreme reaction. Maybe the quantity or concentration of it. Regardless I’ll just stay away. 3 days of swollen eyes, itching & benedryl with a 4 yr old and infant is way to many!

        • Jennifer on July 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

          Yes, staying away sounds best! At least you figured out what was causing the reaction. Jennifer

  7. KGebara on August 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Hello 🙂 I’m looking for a natural alternative to eucerin original moisturizing cream(the really thick cream that comes in a jar). Our little one has eczema that makes him dry, itchy,& absolutely miserable if we don’t keep up with his regimen of showering him in the morning & at night for 5mins each only using soap if needed (we use aveeno baby soothing body wash) to wash his hair hands feet underarms and bottom, and then gently pat dry as quickly as possible so we can apply cream on him head to toe. We’ve tried everything from glaxal base to vaseline to urea creams to aveeno. I’ve tried organic: Shea butter, tree oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and I’m sorry to say even unscented baby oil and vegetable shortening, all of which again made him dry out and itch like crazy. It really is frustrating and very very heartbreaking to see your little one suffer like that. & although eucerin works wonders on him, i can’t help but to wonder about all those chemicals in his cream. <3

    • Jennifer on August 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Hi there –

      Have you tried to determine what’s triggering his eczema? Maybe a food sensitivity, not necessarily a full blown allergy? This is very often at least one part of the puzzle – environmental and pet allergies are also very common, just to name a few. Regarding a cream, we’ve had excellent luck with Calendulis Cream and Manuka Honey Skin Cream. Perhaps you could try them and see how they work for your son? Good luck! Jennifer

  8. NadiaZ on August 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Hi, just saw your comments while surfing. Indeed everyone has a different allergy pattern. Fortunately, most of the time it is linked to the proteins rather than the oil itself. I have my own natural brand and produce natural plant cosmetique products on design and request (www.nadiaz.org) and I have been using shea butter amongst other african and amazonian butters to manage my exzema since year. The allergy may be a reaction also to other ingredients put in your product, or due to bad quality products. There are thousands of plants producing oil and it is a matter to find the right one. If I were to design a product for your son I would try testing with avocado oil, which is extracted from the fruit and not the seed. We also use Kalahari Melon oil here in Africa which may fit your son condition as well. Hope this helps.

  9. The Perfume Chick on September 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Maybe I overlooked some of these comments but I didn’t read any comment stating that you tried a natural handmade product. My company The Perfume Chick Co. specializes in natural perfumes, whipped shea butters, handmade soaps etc… and we created a natural unscented handmade soap called herbal remedy that contain goats milk, palm kernel oil, organic coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil. We also have a whipped eczema shea butter and eczema sugar scrub all using unrefined shea butter, black seed extract, organic coconut oil, hemp seed, organic unrefined jojoba and organic unrefined argan oil and we have helped hundreds of people with this recipe that was suffering with eczema including my twin daughters. If you have tried and tried and want results give us a try today stop buying chemical laced products from the pharmacy and blaming the minute amounts of natural ingredients that they claim exist in those products for your problems. All natural products are not the same because just like with any/everything else that you eat, drink or use is not processed the exact same way. I always tell my customers that just because you’ve had a burger from McDonalds dont mean that you have tasted all burgers. So I’m telling you that just because you’ve used one product dont mean you’ve tried every product. Give us a shot I believe you will see a difference. http://www.perfumechick.com. 1800.691.1733

    • Jennifer on September 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks! Yes, everything we use is all natural and non-toxic. Thanks for the tips.

    • Barbara Elliott J on September 12, 2013 at 6:00 am

      LOVE your points on all of these oils. My 4 year old son does have an allergy many things (over 15), a few of which are cocoa and peanut; however, we did use a peanut-based oil on his skin (prescribed) and that worked well for about a week. After that, while he did not have any reaction, we also did not see any improvement, so we kicked that one. With cocoa, my son cannot eat it nor can we apply it to his skin (he breaks out in an itchy rash on contact – discovered via blood test). Because he’s also allergic to roaches…I’m wondering if that plays a role (BTW…EWWWW!) For whatever reason we had the same reaction when using raw shea butter.

      We are in the process of using coconut oil and he really likes that; however, it’s not as thick as creams, so we mix it with good ol’ reliable Vaseline! I will also be checking out a few of the other items that you’ve mentioned as I’ve never heard of them before. Thanks for the post!

      • Jennifer on September 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm

        Hi Barbara –

        I know, how gross is the cocoa and cockroach connection. Ick! Very interesting that your son reacts to both. Does he react to shellfish as well? Cockroaches and shellfish are in the same family. I’m glad you’ve found the coconut oil to be helpful! And very inventive to add it to Vaseline 🙂 Jennifer

  10. Balloon Face on September 20, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Used Palmer’s cocoa butter formula for men yesterday. After a very itchy night I woke up this morning looking like Eric Pickles

    • Jennifer on September 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Oh no! I’m not sure, but I don’t believe Palmer’s is straight cocoa butter either – you may want to check the ingredients to confirm if you reacted to cocoa or something else.

  11. NadiaZ on October 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks for the detailed description it surely helps realize what people with nut allergy go through. I use shea butter for my exzema formula but for people with tree nut allergy I usually test non conventional oils such as Kalahari Melon, cucumber, papaya, passion, Avocado, or strawberry and Pequi. I suggest you alternate your products so that you can reduce the allergies that may develop through sustained long term exposure. I design individual formula with my brand NadiaZ http://www.nadiaz.org because more and more people have special needs that can better be addressed through individual formulations.

  12. Sandy on October 22, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Have you tried Waxelene? It seems to work well on eczema without allergic reactions.

    • Jennifer on October 24, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Sandy – Thanks for the recommendation. I have to say I’m impressed with their ingredients. Although I’m not a fan of soy, I’m happy to see they used GMO-free soy. Looks like they’re in a lot of big box stores, so it’s easily accessible too. Great stuff! Thanks for sending. Jennifer

      • Denise on November 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        I have used waxolene but like Jennifer, I am not a fan of using soy on a young boy due to hormones concerns. I have used another product that I love that has beeswax and sunflower oil through Poofy Organics. My son is also treenut allergic (walnuts/pecans). He has done fine with it. we also will use https://www.eucerinus.com/products/aquaphor/aquaphor-healing-ointment.html – if I have no other options. We most recently purchased this oil that seems to work great. It is nut free as well: https://www.trilliumorganics.com/Organic_Body_Oil_s/1865.htm
        We continue to search for products as well. He gets very dry skin in the winter months. Hope this helps.

        • Jennifer on November 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

          Thanks so much for sharing what works for your son, Denise!

  13. Judy Simon on October 25, 2013 at 1:38 am

    I just recently discovered I have an allergy to Shea butter. Shea butter is derived from the nut of a tree related to the rubber tree where latex comes from. If you have a latex allergy, it is very likely you will develop a Shea butter allergy and vice versa.

  14. Linda on November 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I have had allergies my whole life. They were first discovered when I was 5 when my family got a cat. Over the years I found out I was allergic to all animal dander, cockroaches, dust mites, penicillins, etc. It wasn’t until many years later that I reacted to tree nuts & peanut butter. The reactions became worse over time. My next problems came with Shea butter. Any amount causes a reaction in me and the more I accidentally use a product containing it, my reaction is worse. Lipsticks & body lotions are usually the culprits. B&BW just increased their lotions to 3X the amount of Shea butter. I have recently been using Carmex on my lips (no listed Shea butter) and now I’m suffering with swollen, painful, blistered lips. I would say I am a documented Shea butter allergy sufferer.

    • Jennifer on November 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your worsening and expanding list of allergies! I hope you’re able to find some great shea butter free products to use.

      • Linda on November 2, 2013 at 8:18 am

        Thanks! That seems to be harder said than done. Manufacturers are adding Shea butter more & more to their products and others are increasing the amount. There seems to be no line that has Shea free products.

        • Jennifer on November 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm

          Linda – we offer quite a lot of products that are shea free. The big commercial brands usually contain refined shea butter, but it’s easier to find smaller companies that do away with any type of shea.

  15. Denise on November 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    We have also been successful with using this on our treenut allergic son:
    https://www.rockymountainsoap.com/productDetails/1002866/1015197/1000144

  16. Soaplicity on January 17, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I am allergic to SO many things and my son has psoriasis. I started out creating formulas for myself and my son because of this and I now own a company called Soaplicity that makes all natural products. I get how frustrating this can be!

    My psoriasis/eczema soap was the very first one I ever made in order to help my son, and it was the longest to develop (over a year). Now I have a whole system that includes a bath soak, lotion bar, and soap that have been doing wonders for a lot of people. That being said,
    I do use a lot of tree nut oils in my products so I tell those with that particular allergy to not use my soap/lotion/lip balm products because I would be fearful of even a minute amount getting in there and setting off a reaction.

    What I can tell you for your son’s eczema is to experiment with Emu oil, Neem oil, and the cocoa butter you were already talking about. These oils have been used for centuries in other countries to help treat these conditions. Neem oil in particular is absolutely amazing, but I will warn you that it has a very pungent smell (like garlic peanut butter – yeah…)so you will want to also put in some essential oils that are good for eczema (like frankincense) to help mask the smell. It only need be used in a very small amount (like 3%) to get its wonderful results.

    I wish you all the best in your discoveries! If you have any more questions, I will happily answer them. You can contact me at support@mysoaplicity.com.

    • Jennifer on January 21, 2014 at 10:59 am

      Thanks so much for all your helpful advice – I really appreciate it as I’m sure everyone else does as well.

    • Melissa Toye on March 2, 2014 at 11:00 am

      I can share my experience with eczema. I developed an allergy to Cosmetics that contain SPF after giving birth to my daughter. It took a while to figure out what was causing my horrible eczema. Once I discovered what was causing my allergy I could easily avoid those products and I used a mixture of coconut oil and you sensual oils to soothe my skin. Apricot kernel oil or almond oil are also good choices if you are not allergic to almonds. Chamomile and lavender were the two Oils I added to my blend to help soothe and heal my skin. Best of luck! Feel free to message me if you would like to know more.
      midwestherbsandoils.com

      • Jennifer on March 14, 2014 at 6:10 pm

        Interesting. What is the exact ingredient that makes SPF? I though it was more about f a rating than one particular ingredient. Many. Natural products are rated SPF. It don’t contain SPF. Can you explain this a little more?

  17. Jewel on June 3, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Hi, im jewel. I have seasonal, dust, and hay allergies and im afraid I could possibly be allergic to beeswax but im not sure. I had gotten on of those EOS lip balm eggs and it made my throat swell and lips itch. I noticed it had beeswax in it and I dont typically use that. That was months ago but today I realized it was in my Dark chocolate chex mix and some gummy bears I was eating today. I didnt understand what I could be allergic to tho. And I can eat honey (I love it and always put loads of it in my tea!) And im not allergic to bee stings. Im just curious as to what else could have made me have a reaction like that

  18. Jennifer on August 4, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Amy – Coconut oil is in a lot of skin care products, especially soap and shampoos. Trying to go without coconut in those products is next to impossible. I see you’re helping others find coconut alternatives on your blog. That’s great! Jennifer

    • Tracey on December 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      agnetha schultze natural products does not have any coconut oil at all in them.

  19. Carlota on August 15, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    I am SEVERELY allergic to cocoa butter! It took forever for me to figure it out. Make up, body wash, sun screens and lotions all caused allergic reactions because they all had cocoa butter AND Shea butter in them. I asked a pharmacist about it and she said cocoa butter allergy is real and common. She said people think it’s so good for you but it can actually cause sever allergic reaction just like peanuts. It’s harmful, painful and just plain miserable! I am not allergic to chocolate however. It’s just the cocoa butter.

    • Jennifer on August 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Hi Carlota – Thank you for sharing your story. I find it really interesting that you’re only allergic to cocoa butter and not chocolate, since it always contains cocoa butter. I wonder if it’s just a topical issue and not a true IgE allergy if you can consume cocoa butter. Jennifer

  20. Lucinda Lee on October 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Hi, I’ve read this a few times and think its an extremely informative article. I have a small blog and wonder if I could have your permission to link back to thus article as a reference as some of my customers would ask me about these oils?
    Enjoy your articles, thanks 🙂
    Lucinda

    • Jennifer Roberge on October 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Hi Lucinda –

      Sure, of course. Thank you for asking! Your products sound wonderful. Jennifer

  21. Henry Scott on October 24, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Itchie swellings(spots)have acured after drinking Bulletproof coffee. what’s the problem?

    • Jennifer Roberge on October 27, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Hi Henry – You’d have to look at all the ingredients and see if there is an known intolerance to one of them. I’d recommend cutting this particular coffee from your diet and see if you’re symptom free. Jennifer

  22. D. L. on January 5, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Ok, now I don’t know what to use on my face and hair. I have been doing research and stumbled on to your website. Because of all the harmful chemicals in many face cleaners, moisturizers, and hair products, I decided to switch to natural ingredients and make my own products. After investing in several books and essential oils, I had to throw the oils away because even the smell of one drop of rosemary, lavender, patchouli, or sweet orange gives me intense headaches. I have been using straight jojoba carrier oil to clean my face for two weeks, but then I started to get pimples on my forehead. I switched to an organic shampoo and conditioner with apple and ginger and my head itches like crazy. Yesterday I ordered some cocoa butter, Shea butter, mango butter, and beeswax. I am allergic to walnuts, sunflower anything, and latex, as well as dairy, gluten, eggs, pineapple, papaya, red grapes. So now I don’t know what to use when my products get here this week. I read about the dangers of essential oils, so that is out. I don’t want to go back to the commercial products in stores.

    • Jennifer Roberge on January 6, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Hi there – I’d just start simple, go back to the basics. You tried jojoba unsuccessfully for your face, why don’t you try some other carrier oils one at a time? I’d suggest trying olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, to name a few. Try each one to clean and moisturize for a few days and see how it goes. Essential oils aren’t really dangerous when applied to the skin (depending on which ones you choose) and are more harmful when ingested. They can be very helpful, but I’d recommend starting with the basic carrier oils first. Once you find the carrier oil that works well for you, consider adding an essential oil to it depending on what you’re looking for your skin care to do. In terms of hair care, you may want to try no-poo or a honey shampoo, there is a recipe from Empowered Sustenance. You can do an apple cider vinegar rinse for conditioner. Just some things to consider trying to find what works best for you and doesn’t cause a reaction. Jennifer

    • lindsey on December 27, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Oils are known ro cause acne. It’s not necessarily an allergic reaction.

      • crosswind on January 18, 2016 at 8:44 pm

        Jojoba is really a WAX not an oil. Google more on it. I have combination/more oil skin and i use jojoba every night as a face moisturizer. 🙂

  23. Christine on January 8, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Hi, just came across this post. I have sever hand eczema and am in the process of finding out what I’m reacting to. I use all natural skin care products and am suspicious of the things you mention. My allergist doesn’t test for things like coconut. How do you get tested to find out everything you are allergic to??

    • Jean on May 8, 2015 at 12:08 am

      Christine,

      Do you wear rubber gloves? You may be allergic to them. If so, try wearing cotton liners. This solved the problem for me. I can’t even wear latex free gloves without the liners.

      Jean

  24. Christine on January 8, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Amy, how did you find out that your two year old is allergic to coconut? I asked my dermatologist to test me for this and she said her tests did not include coconut oil. Thanks!

    • Marie on March 30, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      My 15 month old has tested positive to peanuts, almonds, cashews, and yes, coconut. The allergist did an iGe blood test. I know they can have false positives, but these seem to be right on.

      • Jennifer Roberge on April 8, 2015 at 8:43 am

        Hi Marie – Was it an IgE allergy test or a IgG food sensitivity/intolerance test? They are very different. An IgE allergy can be very dangerous and the IgG is not a walk in the park, but is never life threatening.

  25. Peggy on January 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    My hubby is allergic to all lentils, nuts, tree nuts including coconut. I haven’t tried Shea butter for his skin but may give Everyday Shea a try. However the one that Is working for his eczema is Green Beavers Boreal Body Lotion. It’s one of the rare creams that haven’t made him itchy or made his skin react.

  26. fashionnts on January 17, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Happy 2015!

    I just found you in a web search (I’m always looking for info.).

    I have had seborrhea since I was five … So let’s just say I’ve been cursed & blessed (people think I look much younger) with this for 30+ years. I gave up on doctors because 99% of their recommendations/Rx’s weren’t helpful.

    A few years ago, I decided to do my own research & testing and really take note of my reactions. I found that I am topically sensitive to nut oils, SD type alcohols, aloe (go figure), nut oils (which includes avocado – someone kept suggesting that earlier), beeswax by-products, and most emulsifiers & preservatives. I also learned that I react to too much intake of sugars (esp. refined), starch, dairy & red meat.

    I had also suffered from increasingly visible thin hair patches for 10 years – from scratching my inflamed scalp.

    I found pyrithione zinc is really helpful but most OTC formulations had other ingredients that were triggers. I use Noble Formula soap (the original with emu oil) helps as well as Young again Zinc Spray.

    Zinc can be drying so I make sure to use my homemade serums for hair & skin.

    I started with vitamin e/olive oil glycerine, beeswax and mineral water.
    I cut out the beeswax after realizing it was an irritant and replaced the vitamin e oil with rosehip seed oil. I use organic, unrefined, cold pressed oils. I liked frankincense & myrrh essential oils – they are antioxidant & antifungal (my seborrhea if fungal – hence dietary reactions), but can go either way with these – alcohol is often used in the distillation process of oils that aren’t cold pressed & I react to the trace amounts that invariably get into the oils because the zinc is the key for me.

    My hair has grown back – no thin patches in over two years. My super sensitive skin is non longer cursed with chronic flare ups that often got so bad that plain water burned. Seborrhea starts on the scalp & still have a few minor patches of the rash – there is no cure, but it is 98% gone .. No itchy scalp & constant scratching. I pay attention to other triggers … Weather (drastic temp) changes, stress, hormones (that time of the month) and even these are more manageable now.

    I hope this helps others.

    • Jennifer Roberge on January 26, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to share all this information on our blog. Great information! I will take a look at some of the products you’ve found helpful. I’m thrilled to hear that you now have your skin and hair pretty much under control. That’s wonderful!

    • Christine on January 27, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Thank you for your helpful post! Do you mind sharing how you did your own testing? I’m still in the process of trying to figure out what my triggers are. My allergist suggests doing an elimination diet, but it seems like ANYthing could be a trigger. How did you find out about things like trace amounts of alcohol, aloe, etc. Thanks!

      • Jennifer Roberge on January 30, 2015 at 10:12 am

        Hi Christine – Well, it’s best to start out looking at the top most common allergens and then going from there. I’ve done several elimination diets you can read about here and here. So, either is a good place to start. Just remove the top 8-10 most common allergens and see how you do. Add them back in one at a time and then you’ll see. Then move to a very simple, whole foods diet with very little to no processed foods. If you’re not eating foods loaded with all sorts of additives, it should be more simple to identify the issues. If that doesn’t work, you can try an IgG or ALCAT test for food sensitivities or intolerances.

      • bluejay on April 7, 2015 at 8:47 pm

        When “anything” is a trigger, please look into mast cell activation disorders. I have allergic reactions to many things – but negative skin tests (I react, just not where I was pricked). For me, it’s related to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrom – mast cell activation disorders are too common in people with EDS.

        • Jennifer Roberge on April 8, 2015 at 8:22 am

          Hi Jane – That’s very interesting and not a topic I’m well versed in. I’d love to learn more about it myself and also allow my readers to do so as well. Please contact me if you’d be interested in sharing your story and the syndrome and about mast cell disorders. jennifer@eczemacompany.com Thanks!

  27. Katrina on February 1, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Great article! Defintely a lot of points to consider especially the parts about the cocoa butter. My LO has asthma and strong allergies. He was recently having itchy skin, runny nose and triggered asthma symptoms. He had been eating a decent amount of Hershey’s peppermint kisses(main ingredient cocoa butter) lately. He is known to have a chocolate reaction like his me (Mom). We thought we were doing right by getting the not “really” chocolate candies! The more people that know about these conditions, the less ignorant reactions our kids will have to face

    • Jennifer Roberge on February 3, 2015 at 11:03 am

      So great that you found the trigger! No more chocolate for your little man then I suppose. Do you rely on carob or just forgo the chocolate-like deserts all together?

    • Kathy Sokolow on August 21, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      Please anyone whith food internal or external anaphylactic reactions or hive reactions to nuts of fruits or intolerances to foods??!! Please check into Histamine Intolerance! Seasonal allergies and pet dander, pet fur, all tree, all grasses, dust mites, fiberglass anything, wool, lanolin, Canidillia Wax, (peppermint, spearmint, basil and now anaphylactic to cinnamon, inhalents or injested) – these are all histamine reactives in the blood (or my blood, and skin!) Then there’s the slew of chemical/medicinal allergies, several of which I’m anaphylactic to as well. (It never ends!) Until maybe now?! I never knew that there’s Histamines in our gut!; https://www.judytsafrirmd.com/histamine-intolerance-gaps-and-low-carb/
      DAOsin capsule supplements have been very helpful with food sensitivities/allergies, and accidental injestion tree nuts (in chocolates) even my worst ones; walnuts and pecans, thankfully there was no reaction at all! I take one DAOsin capsule per day with or directly after my evening meal. They are rather expensive. My Daughter, almost 21 has had food Allergy issues for years I bought her a bottle and sent her the link about Histimine Intolerance. We both have noticed differences in what we’re able to eat without having reactions to them! Usually if I eat walnuts or pecans, all it takes is a tiny spec and my whole mouth starts swelling, walnuts are the worst even in baked goods, it’s usually after I’ve taken a bite, the reaction starts and then, I ask about ingredients (at family gatherings). I ate a chocolate to finish up the box, I could tell from the texture that there were nuts in it, usually my reaction would kick in, and I’d spit it out? I actually had to look on the inside of the boxlid to check the location guide, to see what nut I had just consumed! This does not mean that I’m going to run around and start eating ALL the things I’m allergic to though!!! For myself It means that I don’t have to be so paranoid or afraid about consuming something accidently or otherwise. When I was 10 all of a sudden I was allergic to fresh pineapple, itching like crazy in my eustation tubes (inner ears), then it was canned pineapple that did the same thing. By age 13 I was anaphylactic one speck in my mouth and the whole inside of my mouth and tongue would start swelling! The first time I tried Kiwi at age 25? I had those same allergic -anaphylactic reactions! I am anaphylactic to latex I was diagnosed in 1998, after a very bad dentist appointment. I (knock on wood), have never had reactions to coconut in products, injested or topically applied. It only just dawned on me this year 2015, that cocoa butter, coconut nut its oil are tree nuts! (Me, who’s allergic to practically every tree nut in existence!! My system until this past week has only tolerated, Roasted Cashews and Roasted Almonds in chocolate. Roasted there’s less oils and Chocolate helps dilute the nuts.) Please I urge you wholeheartedly to check out DAOsin! I’m 50 it’s terrible to have a self imposed restrictive diet, because I’m afraid of reactions, anaphylactic or hives or the itchies. Always being careful of what I touched was bad enough, even with medications for allergies. I’m allergic to some of the allergy medications themselves. DAOsin has given me and my Daughter a little bit of “Peace of Mind” it’s worth the investment anyday! (I’m sorry this was a ‘book’ but people need to know!) Good Luck Everyone!

      • Jennifer Roberge on August 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm

        What an incredible story. Thank you for sharing it! I’m very interested in learning about DAOsin. Thank you.

      • Lisa on March 10, 2016 at 7:57 pm

        Thank you for the information. I am in the same shape. I am now 55, and a this started at. Many skin allergies to chemicals, metals and natural things found through patch testing. These cross over to foods. I have so been dx woth mast cell because I have high histamine shown in blood. My diet is very restricted too. What type of testing have you had?

  28. Sydnie on March 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I guess I have a rare allergy.
    I’m severely allergic to shea butter. It quite literally burns my skin off after being exposed to water. I will use a product with shea and when I either wash my hands or shower, my skin will blister and peel off. My dermatologists were dumbfounded when I originally came to them for answers, and assumed I was doing it to myself. However one day at school, I felt a burning sensation on my leg (after using a shea butter body wash) and a friend of mine and I retreated to the bathroom to investigate. As I removed my jeans, the top layer of my skin came with it, leaving what looked like 2nd degree burns.
    I hope this sensitive skin crap isn’t genetic!

    • Jennifer Roberge on March 16, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Sydnie – Wow, that sounds painful! At least you’ve determined the trigger. Do you know if you are sensitive to latex, which is related to shea? Or just shea? Jennifer

    • Stephanie on March 18, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Sydnie’s situation sounds terrible and I can only think of one oil that MIGHT possibly help bring her skin some immediate relief – and that’s pure, cosmetic grade, white mineral oil.

      Before people get upset, white mineral oil isn’t crude oil pulled straight from the ground for use in car engines – if it was, the FDA wouldn’t allow it in skin care products or approve it for use on baby’s bottoms, which is what the original baby oil has always been made of.

      However, because cosmetic grade white mineral oil is 100% non-comedogenic and therefore excellent for acne-prone and inflamed, red, skin, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it might also bring relief to Sydnie’s unusual situation?

    • mamakellylester on April 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Sydnie, I would love more information on how you found this out, I have a friend who’s child is experiencing the same thing.

  29. Christie on April 8, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Has anyone ever heard of a sensitivity to beeswax? I make my own body butters using beeswax for over a year. Just in January I started with itching and scratching to the point of opening skin. I tried avoiding the creams and using a steroid cream as suggested by dermatologist. But never 100% better. How long do the effects of wax remain on the skin? I can do patch testing and nothing happens. ????

    • Jennifer Roberge on April 8, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Hi Christie – yes, an allergy to beeswax is very possible. But, my question is, why do you think it’s the beeswax that’s bothering you? If you eliminated it and you didn’t see any change AND you did a skin patch test and didn’t see a reaction, I would conclude that it’s NOT the beeswax that is bothering you. Have you considered seasonal, environmental or food allergies?

      • Christie on April 8, 2015 at 8:41 am

        Hi Jen,
        Thanks for responding. I forgot to mention- I had my eyebrows waxed a month ago and they are itchy too. No rash just a little puffy and itchy. But that could just be an irritation to the process too. I really hope it isn’t the wax. I love my products I make and sell – I would think if I did a patch test of each ingredient I would react locally right? Is it possible the wax acts as a seal and doesn t let my skin breath? I’m at a loss.

        • Jennifer Roberge on April 8, 2015 at 8:51 am

          I think being puffy and itchy after an eyebrow wax is pretty standard. I definitely react that way. And yes, if you do a small patch test, you should be able to figure out the reaction. You can draw a grid on your arm and test each substance at the same time, like they do at the allergist office. Just clearly label which grid represents each ingredient on a piece of paper so you don’t get confused. Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

          • Christie on April 8, 2015 at 9:21 am

            Hi Jen
            I am hoping a grid patch test will reveal something. You would think i would get a reaction pretty quickly right? Will try and let you know. Thanks again!



          • Jennifer Roberge on April 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm

            Hi Christie – Yes, with a skin patch test you do usually see results in 20 minutes or so. Good luck! Fingers crossed.



    • Jean on May 21, 2015 at 5:56 am

      Hi Christie,

      I have a beeswax allergy and found out that there was beeswax in my dental floss. I didn’t get better until I started using vegan floss. Also, check your mascara since beeswax is commonly used in mascara.

      Jean

  30. idiotwriter on April 12, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Thank YOU! Very helpful info 😀

  31. flyingcars on July 15, 2015 at 12:58 am

    I was so hopeful after reading this article about Shea Butter about a year ago. Last Spring in 2014 at age 40, I had my first anaphylactic reaction to an “all-natural” coconut body butter – it contained just about every nut oil & butter available & it smelled fantastic. I didn’t think that my severe peanut allergy or my moderate tree nut allergy could possibly be that sensitive if nut butter’s/oil’s were applied to the skin. I am a Registered Nurse too! The EMT’s & ER staff “informed” me & they seemed shocked that I didn’t know Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter & Coconut Oil were tree nuts & not to use them on my skin. I think I was getting my allergy info from an outdated source or something. But anyway, I’ve had chronically itchy, red & extremely reactive skin for the last 17yrs. I used to have soft, supple very fair skin before my allergies developed. I now have scars from year’s of itching & my skin is thickened & quite bumpy. My elbows get so dry, they crack, bleed & hurt really bad. My feet are very similarly dry & unattractive.
    After my anaphylaxis, even water burns my skin! I hate showering – I would much rather be extremely dirty, than all allergic & with burning red hot skin for 3-4 days, watery eyes & a runny nose, that is not soothed by anything topically or oral antihistamines. I even take Benadryl around-the-clock & I have for last few year’s, to avoid being an itchy snot monster.
    After the anaphylaxis, I slowly tried lotions & creams, attempting to find something that didn’t burn or cause hives. I ordered 100% Raw Shea Butter & used it sparingly once a week or so on tiny patches of intact skin. It was going OK, so I went up to twice a week & so on. Eventually – like 3 1/2 month’s later, I felt confident enough to put it on from elbows to fingertips. About an hour later, I could feel the heat coming off my inflamed forearms & had hives going up my upper arms. 🙁 I was so sad. I thoroughly washed it off & changed my clothes. I didn’t wipe off my leather couch though & later that next day, my skin was bright red & inflamed where my forearm touched the armrest. I am definitely allergic to Shea Butter.
    But Why???? It’s like my body hates everything & it’s trying to kill me!!! I have multiple fruit allergies too. I seem to get a new fruit allergy about every year. I’m 42 yrs old & this is crazy!
    Oh & I avoid everything I am even mildly allergic to now! My anaphylactic rxn was terrifying. And the several months of prednisone, the resulting weight gain & moon face was just awful & they took forever to go away.
    I wonder if my skin just can’t handle anything on it at all & it doesn’t matter if I’m “properly” allergic to an ingredient or not? Any suggestions or similar experiences?

    • Jennifer Roberge on July 16, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Morgan – I’m so sorry to hear about all that you’ve been through. I can imagine how frustrating it’s all been. I’m not anaphylactic or even officially allergic to any foods personally, but I do have histamine type reactions to a lot of foods. What I’ve found helps me a lot is homeopathy. I know it sounds crazy, but some even helped my son’s eczema and my daughter’s ear infections. What I’m using now is Allergex from Canada. I take it three times a day, takes a few days to build up in the body and to work. It’s been a life changer. I know it’s just temporary, as I want to figure out why I have all these food issues and fix whatever is wrong, but I needed relief, so I have found it for now. Thank goodness. Maybe they’d work for you too? Homeopathy is in such small doses, trying it won’t harm anything except your wallet at least. And if you are really not sure where to turn next, you should check out NaturalSkinDr. – she’s very helpful. I’ve been working with her for my son’s eczema and allergies. Good luck!

      • flyingcars on July 17, 2015 at 5:07 am

        Jennifer,
        Thanks for your reply! I’ll definitely look into EVERYTHING you suggested! 🙂 I’m willing to try almost anything at this point – as long as I’m not allergic to it! 😉
        Thanks again!
        Morgan

    • Chelsea on August 10, 2015 at 6:18 am

      Morgan I am so sorry to hear about yous pain and skin troubles. Have you ever heard of Topical Steroid Withdrawal? Please look into it. I think it would change your life for the better. Look up ITSAN.ORG for more info. My daughter is almost 4 and has suffered from severe eczema and multiple allergies as well as sensitivities. We started topical steroid withdrawal in April and her skin has vastly improved. She had severe eczema flares none stop everywhere but her face. Only her feet and knees are affected now and those are healing as well. I hope you can find some relief and heal from your eczema. If you follow the advice on ITSAN.ORG I am confident you will.

      • flyingcars on October 13, 2015 at 2:05 pm

        I don’t use prescription or OTC steroid creams – so I can’t possibly have withdrawal from them.
        I would need an industrial size Rx to cover my entire body everyday anyway!
        Topical steroids are great to get over an acute/temporary problem – like poison ivy, but since my itching/redness/hives are not going to get better or “heal” during this short term use – I might as well just get used to living with them. And reserve topical &/or oral steroids for urgent/emergency situations.
        Plus – I’m pretty sure I would be allergic to the cream the steroid is in! I was allergic to an Rx lidocaine cream – it was the cream, not the lidocaine, causing my hives! 🙂 Thanks anyway!!

      • sue on April 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

        Morgan
        I too am allergic to “life”. I become allergic to things as I use them. Allergic to all antibiotics but 2 classes left, lots of meds, even vaseline now after years of use. Hard to avoid petrolatum. I am also now allergic to all steroids except Class C which includes Triamcinilone. That I can use. Have you had steroid patch testing? That is how I found out I can still use Class C. My main allergy comes from Hydrocortisone/Prednisone (OTC) from years of Cortenemas and Prednisone for Crohns disease.
        Also allergic to carba mix which is in natural and synthetic rubber (will have to have mega doses of Decadron steroid (class C) for colonoscopy as there is rubber in the bends of the scope and I will swell up inside. Allergies are wonderful. Then comes the environmental allergies…mold, trees, grass, etc. I’m always thinking whats next. Not to be disgusting but got a rectal fissure long time ago and became allergic to all things to insert so doc said use vaseline til I got allergic to it so now alternating between cocconut oil, vitamin e oil, olive oil and a product call Alba Unpetroleium jelly.

        Good luck to all of us. Let me know what you think of Alba.

    • lindsey on December 27, 2015 at 11:41 am

      @flyingcars I think you may have other medical issues

    • crosswind on January 18, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      flyingcars, Try OLIVE OIL and APRICOT SEED OIL instead. JOJOBA OIL (it’s really a wax, not oil) also are better for MY skin. I too am VERY sensitive. GMOs & Roundup herbicide are damaging our gut microbe & shikimate pathways I read, per leading MIT scientist. The majority of our immune system, as you know resides in our GUT. Good luck. hope that helps.

    • Maura Clearnoon on January 30, 2016 at 10:37 am

      You could try applying a mixture of equal amounts of turmeric and honey (with just a titch of water) on the areas where you’ve broken out. It DOES sting, but it will help (I put it on for half an hour at a time). I started noticing results the second time around. It doesn’t make it go away permanently, but it should help your skin to clear up so you can see the ‘early warning signs’ Have you tried avoiding gluten and milk? That seems to be my trigger.

  32. Helen Roth on August 4, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I’m not sure what’s going on with my skin, every time I apply my 100% pure Shea mango butter my face literally feels like it’s on fire. This happens every single time I apply it and I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be like that, or if I’m having some sort of allergic reaction to it. My skin hasn’t gotten clearer (my acne and rosacea is still there and I’m noticing more tiny acne bumps.) I really want it to work, but I don’t want to permanently damage my skin.

    • Jennifer Roberge on August 11, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      HI Helen – You could very well have developed an allergy to shea or mango. If that is the exact name of the product, 100% Pure Shea Mango Butter, when I looked it up, the ingredients are not clearly disclosed, but it does seem that there is a fragrance, not real mango butter. So, I would research the ingredients to be sure you know exactly what you’re applying to you face to determine what really is aggravating your skin.

  33. Elizabeth on October 6, 2015 at 9:52 am

    HI! I am going through the process of figuring out skin allergies. I too can only use coconut oil topically every once in a while. If I use it for several consecutive days I start to get little itchy bumps. For those of you reacting to Shea…as I do…have you been tested for a latex allergy? I have read that people who do have a latex allergy sometimes react to Shea butter and things with Shea in it.
    Elizabeth

  34. Ellmelia on October 20, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Fab Article 🙂

    I recently at 21 years old developed a severe allergic reaction to Tree Nuts. I had been eating a lot of cashews and almonds and went into anaphylaxis (i now carry an epipen). When i had a blood test i also tested highly positive for peanuts and coconut. I also had been using a Shea butter shaving gel which now brings me up in a very red, risen painful rash. I’m waiting to have a skin prick test in January but until then I’m finding it very difficult and scary to identify what i can and can’t eat. I’ve also been moderately allergic to cow’s milk since i was little so the combination is turning out to be a bit of a nightmare.

    so I was wondering if you had any suggestions what the best thing to do would be and how to go about it, I’m really struggling with what i can and can’t eat and even more so with body/hair products.

    I seem to be fine with Cocoa to date, when eating chocolate, i have however been very careful to avoid any chocolate with and traces of nuts, peanuts, coconut and also shea butter/oil.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Jennifer Roberge on October 21, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Hi there – Thankfully tree nuts, dairy, peanuts and coconut are fairly easy to eliminate from your diet if you go back to whole food cooking and consuming less processed foods. If you do need a few shortcuts, which is understandable, definitely check out all the amazing allergy free companies on the market like Enjoy Life foods. Just keep two epipens with you at all time just to be safe. Never leave without them.

      • Yvette on October 30, 2015 at 2:49 am

        Ellmelia and flyingcars, you both sound like your having similar problems with allergies as me. I went to a really great allergist doctor and she diagnosed me with “mast cell activation disorder” the great news is that there is medications to help. So for anyone out there having a ton of NEW allergies talk to your doctor about mast cell. Apparently it’s a pretty unknown disease so talk to a knowledgeable doctor in this field. She also tests my vitamin D levels she said low vitamin D has something to do with it. I hope this helps for anyone suffering.

  35. Lisa on November 8, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I have reactions to coconut oil and Shea butter and everything I use. I have had extensive patch testing done, for type IV skin allergies to many chemicals in hygiene products and many natural organic things, also to metals. I can’t find anything to use for hygiene, or any safe dental materials or medicines. I know about the mast cell, and was dx’ed with it because of high histamines, but I have the real immune delayed type IV skin allergies too, so much, even dyes and formaldehyde in clothing and shoes etc. Organic cotton was even a irritant on my week long patch test. I am 54 and all this started 5 years ago. I have done the Alcat test and have many intoerances. Not much showed in IGe food test. This is so horrible for everyone to be going through. I stay in rashes and I don’t shampoo, or use anything and had to resort to staying bed ridden because of painful rashes and blisters on my feet and all over body. I feel so sorry for everyone, especially the children. Why isn’t there more research and help for us? Lisa

    • Jennifer Roberge on November 10, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Hi Lisa – I’m so sorry to hear about your suffering. I’m curious, what happened in your life five years ago around the time all this started for you?

    • Cjhs on August 25, 2016 at 2:09 am

      Just wondering if anyone has tried a hemotologist .. My daughter has the triad severely . When she was little her face looked burned her eczema was so bad .. We have done all the allergy test ant her back lit up like a Christmas tree . She is also highly allergic to all nuts… Though coconut oil does not bother her .. Coco butter does cause a break out .. Anyway long story short .. After countless dermatologists , allergists and pediatrician and trying every cream, med and diet out there . My daughter had such a sever reaction to allergy shots the reaction was so bad her igg and eosinophils where so high it caused her capillaries to actually burst and she broke out in black to purple bruises from the waist down.. At that point I was terrified she had leukemia or hemophillia.. I was also afraid the ER Doctor would think I beat my child, more than once I have been judged by medical professionals because of how bad her eczema was .. And I’m a nurse .. And have tried everything ! So her last dermatologist sent us to a great hemotologist and she was diagnosed with allergic hyperesinophillia … Basically she is allergic to almost everything .. So her hemotologist prescribed her Methotrexate in a very small dose and treats her at a cellular level and as an autoimmune disease .. She still has break outs now and again but if she properly takes care of her skin ( 13 yr olds some times just don’t listen! Ugh) but for the most part I would say her asthma is only a problem when she had a respiratory cold, her sensitivity to every little thing is much better and while she still has eczema outbreaks … Usually because she has gotten lazy about her skin care .. It still looks so much better and she doesn’t look burned .. And I can get it under control quickly. Seeing the hemotologist was such a blessing .. We moved almost 2 hours away but I drive in for her appointments with him still and always will

      • standinglynx on August 25, 2016 at 8:36 pm

        I am glad you posted this as we have considered a hematologist. My son has the exact same issues and his last IgE level came back over 600.

      • Shea on November 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm

        Her disease sounds similar to mine, I have Churg-Strauss Syndrome, and high eosinophil’s caused me a heart attack 5 years ago. I too had to take methotrexate for a while. Now I have been stuck on prednisone, but I just recently started a newly approved medication called Nucala for severe asthma related to the eosinophilia/allergies. My most severe allergies are to dander from cats and dogs, so avoidance has helped me tremendously, but I still have not been able to get the disease under control without prednisone. But the Nucala already seems to be helping my asthma and I have only had 2 injections, it has shown strong results for improving asthma and helping people come down on steroids like prednisone without flares.

  36. chels on December 13, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I make my own soap and I’m very much in love with coconut oilOlive Oil Goats milk based soaps. As a teen I would break out because of the chemicals put into that store bought crud. I love knowing that I can withstand lemon juice in my lye solution and never go one day without knowing what is in my soaps.

    • Jennifer Roberge on December 15, 2015 at 7:48 am

      That sounds like a very nice combination for soap. I’m sure it’s very soothing.

  37. lindsey on December 27, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Great article. I purchased a shea butter lipgloss that I really want to try but I also want to be safe. I don’t believe I have a latex allergy but I avoid eating tree nuts and peanuts because I have other food allergies including MSG which is severe and considered “rare” and it’s SCARY. I don’t react to coconut milk used in cooking but I don’t eat it often. My hair oil contains shea butter but my palms are thicker than my skin elsewhere like on my lips and I only apply the oil to my hair not my scalp. None of my other beauty products contain shea butter. I’m terrified of experiencing a reaction like the commenter whose throat swelled with the eos lip balm. I use an eos lip balm and don’t have a reaction but I’m anxious about throat swelling from a lip product because I didn’t think that could happen but also because I’ve experienced that with food and it’s one of the reasons I stopped eating peanuts (itchy throat & mucus production but stopped out of caution before I experienced anything worse and moreso because reading about fatalities), and also it’s the reason my allergist won’t skin prick me. What should I do?

    • Jennifer Roberge on December 27, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Hi Lindsey – If you’re really worried about a reaction, then it’s best to maybe test the actual product while in your allergist’s office, just to be safe.

  38. Jennifer on January 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    I’m allergic to dairy (not intolerant) peanuts and tree nuts, and in my twenties I found out I was allergic to coconut as well (topical application and ingestion). The coco bean is related to the peanut so no chocolate, Shea is related to the coconut so none of that, argan oil comes from a tree nut, jojoba is a seed and not a nut so it’s fine. This means a LOT of beauty and health products are not usable for me, a female; anything that foams, bubbles, or froths uses coconut as the surfactant to produce such nice suds; it’s usually the fourth ingredient and labeled something with laurel in the name. Hurray for products going natural, boo for anyone not having any tropical heritage from which these nuts originate.

  39. Cindy on January 10, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Wow this helped alot. My son has Eczema and Tree Nut allergies. We always check the labels on everything. Lately his Eczema has gotten very bad. One dermatologist diagnosed him with A Topic Dermatitis. Please help!! If anyone knows about what meal plans to change and best shampoos and lotions for this. Alot of people tell me to avoid steriod topical ointments and most doctors thats what they recommend, steroids and his skin stays the same.

    • Jennifer Roberge on January 13, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Hi Cindy –

      We went through all of this too. I think this post about elimination diets will help: https://itchylittleworld.com/2013/01/08/our-eczema-trials-elimination-diet-how-you-can-do-it-too/
      And so will this post about what ended up working best for our family: https://itchylittleworld.com/2015/12/15/natural-remedies-for-eczema-what-worked-for-my-son/

    • Christi on January 21, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      We’ve been through the mill with food allergies and eczema reactions. My son was diagnosed with intrinsic eczema. Basically an allergic response to an allergen. Wet wraps help some, but the underlying cause is the issue. We’ve found that since he’s allergic to peanuts we’ve had to avoid all legumes including kidney beans, soy, garbanzo beans, etc.

    • Stacy on January 30, 2016 at 1:47 am

      My daughter suffers from eczema, you would never know it by looking at her because I use the fragrance free Vaseline on her skin. If she has an outbreak, I use a clear ointment. I also use the sensitive skin oil of Olay soap on her skin. When she was a baby, I used the Aveeno oatmeal soap. I wash her clothes with the seventh generation free and clear powder detergent, along with the free and clear liquid fabric softener or the sheets.

    • Tia on April 1, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      Use goat milk soap and lotion help with eczema

  40. Jay on February 9, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I have eczema and grape seed oil has just about cured it( if it could be cured) the longer I’ve used it the less often I’ve had to apply it… just rub it on your sink and let it soak in best time to do this is after a bath/ shower… organic is best but buying it from the gerocy store in the cooking isale works just as well… it also eliminates acne apply it to your face or where ever your acne occurs… in just one week you will see amazing results in about 3 weeks it will be competely gone and continued used will diminish scars…

  41. Lisa on March 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I have posted here before. I have many allergies Type IV skin allergies only found through a week long skin a patch testing. This crosses over to foods. I can’t find any products or foods that I can eat safely except beef. My like histamines are extremely high too.
    Why are allergist and dermatologist not understanding or educated enough to help people, so they don’t have to have to try and rely on others in the same boat. Don’t get me wrong. I am appreciative to know and to learn from others, but why can’t our medical professionals help. And I don’t mean by steroids or immunsesuppressants that cause cancer.

  42. d.v.hoyt on April 25, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I am curious about my “reaction” to shea. While I do have allergic reactions to several antigens, my reaction to shea is not the typical “rash, itchy, watery eyes &n nose, nor any swollen tissue”. My reaction is delayed at least 1-3hrs from exposure, severe headache & dizziness,nausea with vomiting, increased blood pressure and an overall feeling of being squeezed in a vice grip from head to toe. This initially happened about 15 years ago when i bought pure shea butter at Body Works and put it on my body after a bath. By the time I had dried my hair, put my PJs on and headed downstairs, I experienced the symptoms. Only thing I had done different that particular day was the shea. Immediately I took a shower and scrubbed the butter off and felt some relief. The symptoms last between 12hr-24hr and that’s over. I try hard to be proactive, but three times in the past year I have been exposed to shea either by touching someone who had just used it, and twice using soap that had shea as one of it’s ingredients in it. I experienced these same exact symptoms and each time the common denominator was shea butter. If anyone has any information on this, please contact me.

    • Jennifer Roberge on April 26, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Wow! That is a very serious reaction to shea. It sounds to me, because you have multiple bodily reactions involved, that you are anaphylactic to shea. You may want to discuss meeting with an allergist and getting some epinephrine to keep on hand. How do you do with latex, a relative to shea?

      • d.v.hoyt on May 5, 2016 at 6:40 pm

        Thanks for your reply about my shea situation. I’m a resp therapist and as I said, I don’t ever have the anaphylactic issue. It’s totally crazy and scary, though. Please keep me in mind if you hear of any others who may have this issue…thank you again

      • Fiery Angel on December 1, 2016 at 12:37 am

        I agree, it does sound like anaphylaxis- you don’t have to have the difficulty breathing and closing of the throat to be in anaphylaxis, that’s a common misconception.

  43. sue on May 2, 2016 at 3:46 am

    I love this site. I thought I was alone with allergies. I am allergic to “life”. I get allergic to things as I take or use them. I am even allergic to vaseline now. Allergic to all antibiotics except 2 and other meds.

    Is anyone else out there allergic to carba mix? It is in natural and synthetic rubber and that means in the bends of scopes for colonoscopy, etc. I am also allergic to the Prednisone family which crosses over to other steroids. The only class I can use (until I become allergic to that) is Triamcinolone. I have Crohns disease and have a rectal fissure and can not use anything to heal it as most products have lanolin (allergic) or other allergens in them so have been trying coconut oil and hoping I do not become allergic to that, at least for a while. I tried Vitamin E but seems I became allergic to that now. Hopefully the allergy is only topical as it is in my multivitamin.

    Please does anyone have any advice for someone like me. Thank you for any help.

    • CJ on May 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Vitamin E is derived from either walnuts or wheat on average. Many people aren’t aware of that. My son has run into the same issue.

      • Jennifer Roberge on May 3, 2016 at 9:53 am

        Wow, I never heard about Vitamin E being derived from walnuts. I had heard about wheat and soy and cotton primarily.

    • DS Davis on August 28, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      I, too, am allergic to just about everything most people take for granted, so you are not alone. Many years ago there was a product called Sperti (spelling?). It was wonderful for burns, stitches (such as after birthing a baby), etc. Then I couldn’t find it any more, but was told the ingredients in Preparation H did the same thing for burns, stitches, etc. So I keep some on hand and I don’t seem to be allergic to it.

  44. Kayla H on July 28, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Okay , so I have an allergy to peanuts. An i have broken out in rashes that itch and spread. Now , I use the eco lip balm an I’m fine. Now. Many lotions I’ve seen that helps out with skin like mine an dry skin Shea butter cocoa butter and jojoba butter. Butttt. I am curious to if I could use those lotions.

  45. Donald Watford on November 13, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Have you tried tallow body Butter on your son’s eczema?

  46. Justina Watford on November 13, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Have you tried tallow body Butter on your son’s eczema? I may tallow Butters and everyone loves them

  47. D. Davis on December 9, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I was going to try to make and use tallow body butter, since I have reactions to some of the other butters on the market and so many skin creams at stores, but then I remembered that my IgG4 blood test shows I am mildly sensitive to beef and can only have it no more often than every 4 days. I wonder if tallow on the skin would have the same reaction. Could I make it with chicken fat?

    • Jennifer Roberge on December 12, 2016 at 10:23 am

      I suppose you could, but I’m not sure how nourishing it would be. I suppose it’s worth a try.

  48. Kacey Sollars on January 8, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Why do my hands burn pretty bad and break out in tiny red bumps when I use Shea butter?

    • Jennifer Roberge on January 10, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      I would say you are sensitive or have an actual allergy then.

  49. Lukman Abubakari on January 22, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Many thanks for your scientific breakthrough in the value chain of the Shea nut Industry.

    I am an upcoming entrepreneur in the industry with wide range of business ideas. just that, It is difficult executing some of the ideas because of little information available in the sector .

    I want to preserve/prevent Shea nut oil from curdling/solidifying at room temperature using preservatives or any other method.

    I would be very grateful if you could help with an information on how to get it done.

  50. wordwile on January 26, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Would you use shea butter in a lip balm that you would distribute to kids (like as a loot bag?)
    I don’t know about this specific group of children, but there are definitely allergies in the larger community

    • Jennifer Roberge on January 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Yes, since shea allergies are very rare, I would say you would be ok to use shea in your lip balm.

  51. Robin on February 6, 2017 at 7:49 am

    My kids have eczema. My father has psoriasis. I break out in hives and itch like crazy when exposed to certain things (mold being the #1). I watched an extensive series on autoimmune disease (I was diagnosed with one), and found that SKIN ISSUES are your body’s way of telling you that you are ingesting something it does not like. Even acne tells you! It may not even be something you are eating…like my dad….he flares up when using dandruff shampoo…it’s some chemical in it that bothers him. He has gout…and reacts when he eats too many gout triggers too close together. Airborne mold along with regular old mold drives me nuts! I break out in the store! LOL And I react worse when my immune system is less strong.

    So if you are still experiencing skin issues even after eliminating the more obvious things, there is STILL an internal issue going on. And the more you ingest what your body does not like….you may just wind up with a more severe autoimmune disease down the road…like I did. When you have food issues it is best to eat organic and non-gmo AND to see a functional medicine doctor….they start with your gut. The majority of your immune system is located in your gut. My gut was damaged by antibiotics (mostly in childhood) and dairy, just to name a few. gmo’s have PESTICIDES in them. I don’t know about you but I am not too crazy about having ROUND UP in my food!!! We eat all non-gmo and organic in our house. We do not ever eat gmos. But ONE TIME we ate non organic strawberries (locally grown) at my parents’ house and I felt lousy the next 2 days…stomach issues, my daughter felt yucky and had stinky gas for 2 days, and my dog threw up the next day. The only thing we ate in common were the strawberries. My parents didn’t get sick. Since we eat clean, when we didn’t our bodies reacted.

    The junk in our food and health products is making us sicker and sicker!!

  52. Janet Gentry on March 11, 2017 at 9:16 am

    May want to consider a sensitivity to latex and latex food. I started breaking out with awful sores on my scalp from shampoos (even organic). The sores were extremely painful and the itching drove me crazy. Nothing came up on allergy testing so my doctor at the medical school clinic did the old fashion patch test on the back. It turned out I had issues with coconut internal and external plus several other items. The doctors had already warned me that I had become latex sensitive so when I saw an article warning about eating tapioca if you were allergic or sensitive to latex. Internet search for latex food allergies helped me to refine my diet to reduce the number of issues I was having.

  53. Margaret on May 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I basically did not have a lot of allergies, just seasonal, and trees, weeds, grasses, mold, grain dust. Then I had my thyroid and parathyroid tumor removed about 4 years ago and I still was doing great until getting switched from synthetic to a T3/T4 and now my numbers are all over the place high and low and no end to it. But that is when the allergies really started showing up and more and more every month. Now basically any scent can and often does give me a migraine. Well I had been using a really great shampoo and conditioner that contained shea butter. I am guessing along about February I noticed my scalp itched severely all the time, then finally in April it would start immediately after getting out of shower while hair was still extremely wet. then wherever my hair touched my face or neck and shoulders I would get a really itchy and burning sensation. Turns out if you are Latex sensitive or Latex allergic you will most likely react to shea butter as it is made from real Latex properties. Now my scalp is mainly eczema and hair is falling out, even though thyroid numbers are really good right now.

    I decided to cut my hair and low and behold the gal who cuts my hair must have used a different shampoo/conditioner as I have had sinus issues and severe migraine since the evening I got it cut and today my neck is all red, burning and itching.

    So I am thinking that if one has numerous allergies, you should get checked to see if latex could be a culprit and find out any cross-reactive items in your daily life could be causing problems. I mentioned this to a cousin’s widow who breaks out horribly and ends up in hospital if she touches the walnuts that grow on her property. Her daughter took her to be tested for allergy to latex and sure enough.

    So now I am on the search for a shampoo and conditioner that will help my scalp, hair and not cause any more problems.

  54. Jane Stratton on July 2, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I ordered 50 lbs of organic shea butter from a women’s cooperative in Africa when my eczema and allergy ridden child. Was feeling so proud of myself for being so smart in finding a potetntial all natural solution that had the bonus of working for economic justice.

    Ackkk..he broke out in eczema all over the area I rubbed it on within a very short while. Eczema had been confined to face, legs, arms and hands…and now his whole torso was inflamed. Yikes.

    Try to avoid it like the plague now, but it seems to be in almost everything.

    • Jennifer Roberge on July 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      Oh no! It stinks when we try to do what we think is the right thing and it backfires. I have done this countless times, especially with eczema. I’m glad you at least figured out it was a trigger.

  55. Velvet on February 12, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Be careful with cocoa butter if you have asthma.

    I have developed the ‘cough’ variety of asthma-like stuff (the GP is wary of formally diagnosing it for several reasons, and we’re hoping I will be able to get off the preventer which is the lowest dose).

    Cocoa butter (food grade, even!) triggers this coughing asthma VERY badly. It only takes an open packet of cocoa butter discs – in a different room – and I am coughing and it gets worse and worse day by day.

    In things like bath products I seem to be ok with the cocoa butter as an ingredient – maybe because they are mixed with other things/essential oils, I’m not sure. But the cocoa butter on it’s own? Bad bad news.

    So be careful with it, if there’s any asthma in the family.

  56. Robin on March 13, 2018 at 4:29 am

    I am new to the tree nut allergy scene. I will share the story. Bare with me. I have “leaky gut”. Actually MOST people do, in today’s “pesticide infested and chemical overloaded” society. I was a kid who got fed antibiotics for infections about every year growing up. I also took fluoride vitamins. I got a flu shot every year as an adult. (Some of the stuff in those things are HORRIBLE for our body, and so is some of the stuff in kids’ vaccines.) I’ve since learned that antibiotics kill the GOOD bacteria in the gut, and the pesticides on the foods, and the chemicals in the foods, and some of the ingredients in vaccines (like aluminum and mercury!) irritate the intestine lining and eventually eat tiny holes into it. (It CAN heal itself in 3-5 days IF you avoid the triggers.)

    So…after years of so called “gut abuse” I had “slight” food sensitivities. But the doc said I didn’t have to avoid the foods at all. This was in 1983. Milk, egg whites, peanuts, bananas, wheat and shrimp were the top 6, yet slight. What did they know. LOL

    Years later…after the flu shots and pesticides and cleaners and whatever….I was getting sicker. I was definitely lactose intolerant. I had restless leg until I gave up ALL dairy. Then I felt a “poking” feeling in my gut (2003). Doc had no clue. Fast forward….2012…Alcat testing….casein. gluten, soy, blah blah blah. 2017… gliadin…in wheat (and can be in ANY grain, if it’s not gluten free), still egg whites, and even though soy was not on the list…it “pokes” me, so does any dairy. I avoided what needed to be avoided…took the supplements to heal my gut…feeling pretty good in October 2017. Then….lidocaine did me in. One tiny shot in my arm as a test…to see if I would have a reaction. (Car accident 2015 left me with back/neck pain and the lawyer said if I do not have any “procedures” my case won’t be valued very high and I will wind up getting ZIP. I am not able to do most of what I used to …like LAY ON MY BACK or work out, etc, because of my injuries.

    So…lidocaine shot…teeny tiny bit. Migraine after 15 minutes. Chronic fatigue set in within a day (It is a listed side effect but they don’t tell you this.) I was on the couch for weeks…total slug. My gut got “pokey” again sometimes and I would get horrible gas from veggies. AGAIN. The party was over. LOL

    Then I ate raw cashews and got a scratchy throat. I thought it was maybe post nasal drip…it was rainy…maybe I was getting sick? (I do not get “colds). Next week….ate cashews again…same thing. LIGHTBULB went on. Then almonds and peanuts also gave me the “thing” in the back of my mouth and in my throat. Peanuts seemed worse. My doc said he was sure it was the lidocaine that threw my body into all this havoc. It was the ONLY thing that changed.

    Coconut oil has dried my legs when I used it alone on my skin. I read sometimes that happens. But I had no problem with it in lotion or shower gel or eating it. UNTIL NOW. Last week…big time in the throat kinda thing. I was PEEVED. Ya see, coconut is a staple for me. I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr last year (my sis had mono when I was a kid and airborne mold in the basement plus the car accident stressed my body out and then HELLO EPSTEIN). My EBV supplement was made from coconuts. I did oil pulling EVERY DAY with coconut oil to rid my body of toxins. It’s in all my personal care products including toothpaste. It’s in the only candy I could eat. (Can’t have sugar, it gives me yeast overgrowth in my gut). So now I am trying to find soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, makeup, AND butt wipes. (Don’t laugh.LOL) Coconut is in Kandoo wipes, the only flushable wipes I could find that didn’t have a ton of BAD in them. It’s not listed as coconut….it’s one of those long words in the ingredient list….where you have to get out your “Is this coconut?” list. I used one last night to wipe off my eyebrow pencil and my eyebrows felt like they were all puffed up….that is when I looked at the ingredients and wanted to scream….NOOOOOOO!

    We do have Water Wipes we use on sticky and dirty hands and on the dog’s butt sometimes….but ya can’t flush em. Sometimes ya need a flushable wipe! LOL We are a gluten free household who uses almost 100% organic everything. So when I find something I THINK is ok….coconut free…it’s either got soy, something else we can’t have, or is not certified gluten free. One microscopic speck of gluten will mess with your gut for SIX MONTHS. Ask somebody with celiac disease, they will tell you. Even my Dove soap is no good….those “sneaky” coconut ingredients in there! I used it anyway….because I will SMELL BAD if I use nothing until I can find what I need. LOL It was the best option for right now. I guess I’ll have to add another job to my list ….beauty products maker….oy vey!

    I’m trying to NOT use olive oil in anything because if I use it every day my immune system might see it as an invader and then I won’t have a cooking oil. I think that is what happened with the coconut. I have not fixed the ROOT cause of my leaky gut so when I use something a LOT I am now becoming allergic to it. I used to drink almond and cashew milk, eat the nuts, the butter, and my on-the-go food was always a “bar” with either or both of them in it. Oh…the day I had the coconut issue…I ate a rice cracker….and got the SAME PROBLEM. I was drinking rice milk, eating rice crackers, eating it with dinner, etc. So now I’m leery to eat the same things too often…..but my list of ok foods isn’t that long as it is.

    I’m doing what I can and leaving the rest for the Lord….He has a reason for all of this. I have a clue why….but still think “Why me?” LOL We all got SOMETHIN to deal with! I just say “It could be worse!”

  57. bob s. on March 27, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    The following is what I just posted on another page like this one:
    I’ve had psoriasis/eczema for about 15 years. I’ve always been able to control it with dermatologist prescribed ointments. But this year and this past year have been the worst for me. between a red flag that came up on a skin patch test because of a commonly used chemical used in so many products nowadays, and food allergies. I have noticed when it flares up with food allergies. (also the dermatologist found nothing going on with the food allergy test apparently). I have found that pure raw coconut oil that I have been using in my diet seems to trigger it, as well as peanuts, peanut butter, some protein bars. Those all contain or are processed with palm oil, palm kernel oil, which also seems to trigger it. Also, anything that seems to raise your metabolism by raising body temperature can trigger it. Exercise itself naturally does not trigger it, but the supplements and foods we take in that raise is do trigger it. for me anyway. Of course, trying to keep stress to a minimal will keep your body temperature more normal which seems to be why stress triggers psoriasis and eczema in my own experience.

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