Food allergies and emotions

I have been very busy with research for upcoming topics and interviews to be shared on here soon. As many of you know, life gets busy. If you have commented on posts, I will be replying soon. In the interim, I would like to share with you a post I recently wrote on my other blog, about life with food allergies. The fear and worries as well as ways to overcome them. I have had food allergies my entire life and am only now sharing how it truly feels to the public. It is something that has been hard to open up about as I’ve often thought it was only me. After several comments and DM’s it is clear that this is a topic I need to explore more.

Please have a read and let me know what you think. Here’s the link to my article on

I am curious. What do you do to overcome your worries, stress or fear with other allergies? If you get hives from different fabrics, dyes or soaps, shampoos and lotions, do you feel that you have some fear or worry around trying new products? Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a wonderful day!



Buying clothes when you have allergies

If you are anything like me, buying new clothes, whether it be jeans, shirts, dresses or other usually means that you are going to come home very itchy! I recently went clothes shopping and even just trying on 2 dresses made my body insanely itchy. I often find it takes a good wash before I can wear cloths without them causing hives all over my skin. There are a few chemicals that are often used in textile manufacturing and these can cause skin irritations ranging from mild to severe, for many people. Anytime I go shopping, I always plan to come home right after, as I know only a shower will help me. I also tend to have a lukewarm shower as having a really hot one will open my pores and often leads to more hives and feeling even itchier.

Now, buying used clothes on the other hand has its own challenges as well… If you have very sensitive skin, or are allergic to pet dander then trying on these clothes can also mean a skin irritation or allergy and may even lead to hives or even trigger asthma for some of us. I tend to be very cautious about buying used clothes, and only try on ones from friends who I know don’t have pets. But even at that… What laundry detergents did they use to clean their clothes? Did they use dryer sheets that had fragrance or were the dryer sheets fragrance free? These are all questions many of us ask ourselves. If you have found yourself pondering any of the above, then you deserve a pat on the back. It is extremely important to think ahead. To ask questions.

Time to get back to posting…

It has been quite some time since my last post and I promised Dayne I would keep up with her readers and keep Allergy Comfort Zone Active. So today I am holding myself accountable to my promise. I’m curious to hear what topics you would like to hear more about. Are there questions you have that you can’t find answers to? I often find that there are many things I cannot find an easy answer to and I’d like to continue making this your go to place when it comes to living more comfortably with allergies.

Please comment below or send me an email with questions you have or even topics you would really like me to bring up and share my take on.

Are you Sensitive to Chlorine?


Do you react after swimming in a chlorinated swimming pool? I get hives every time I go swimming, even when I go to pools which operate mostly on ozone and only use a very small amount of what they call “free chlorine”. I have always wondered if there is anything I can do to reduce the skin reactions I get and worry that it may in fact be affecting my asthma. The American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI) has great information on this topic. They mention that if you get hives or a rash after swimming in a chlorinated pool it does not mean that you have a chlorine allergy, however it may mean that you have a chlorine sensitivity or “irritant dermatitis” (like a chemical burn), which is caused by hypersensitivity to this natural irritant. If you get a rash or hives from the pool, have you found anything that helps to reduce the amount of hives you get? For my breathing I do take my inhaler prior to swimming to prevent an asthma flare-up. Have you found certain pools affect the rash, hives or other skin reactions you get from swimming pools? Do you notice a difference with indoor pools versus outdoor pools?

ACAAI Chlorine Allergy

Let me introduce myself

Erika Ladouceur - pic

Dear readers,

As Dayne has mentioned in her latest post, she has passed along her blog to me and will be writing guest posts when she has time. I came across AllergyComfortZone when looking for information about contact dermatitis, as I live with numerous environmental allergies to dust, mold, dust and pets and often react to chemicals, moisturizing creams, hair products and soaps as well as life threatening food allergies and asthma. I feel honored to continue what Dayne has created, a community of readers just like you, looking to discuss useful information about allergies, find allergy comfort solutions, products and share experiences.

I am 24, and live in British Columbia, Canada. Originally from Montreal, I have traveled a fair bit and dealt with many situations that one cannot always anticipate.  I am extremely excited to get to know you; to find out what questions you have about products, lifestyle changes and allergies, or any other questions you may have! I do have other blogs on food allergies and asthma, thus my posts here will mostly discuss contact dermatitis and eczema.  As I am still in the midst of figuring out the “behind the scenes” stuff, I will keep this first post short.

I invite you to send me a message, (the email has stayed the same) or perhaps share a comment right here, with topics you are interested in.

I am thrilled to be joining this community!


Erika Ladouceur

There will be the new writer for this blog.

After writing this Allergy Comfort Zone blog for the last 4 years, I am passing it over to  Erika Ladouceur who promises to keep it active and true to its beginnings. Erika lives in Canada so she might have a little different perspective on allergies.

I want to thank all the readers who follow Allergy Comfort Zone and all the many reader who have left comments. I may occasionally write a blog on one of my favorite subjects; skin allergies, contact dermatitis and eczema.

Thank you, have a healthy and happy holiday and new year.

Dayne Sislen

Have an Allergy free Thanksgiving

Have an Allergy free Thanksgiving

(A repeat of my previous blog 11/15/10)

Wild_Rice_StuffingThanksgiving is just around the corner and my kids with allergies are coming for dinner. My family is allergic to gluten, dairy, soy and eggs. The turkey will be fine, but what about the dressing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie?

Turkey: Turkeys themselves are not usually a problem for people with allergies. Some commercial turkeys have been infused with a broth that may have wheat in it. Be sure to read the label carefully or just buy a fresh turkey.

Dressing/Stuffing: My favorite way to make gluten-free dressing is to use wild rice or a mixture of wild and long grain rice as the base instead of bread. I use the drippings from the turkey combined with enough gluten-free turkey stock according to the directions to cook the rice. In another pan, in a small amount of olive oil, I sauté chopped celery, chopped water chestnuts, and a chopped medium onion. Then I add the cooked rice, dried cranberries, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and 1/4 c white wine. Everything you would use to make regular dressing except the bread crumbs. I don’t use a recipe, it all tastes good just mix it together, you can’t go wrong. If you can’t find gluten-free turkey stock, gluten-free chicken stock or a combination of chicken and beef stock work well. Or of course you can make your own.

Gravy: Do not use the prepackaged gravy that may come with the turkey or you can buy at the store, they contain wheat flour. I heat the turkey drippings with gluten-free turkey broth, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, then add tablespoon of corn starch or tapioca starch (it takes more of the tapioca) mixed with a 1/8 cup or less of cool broth or water. Hint: always mix your tapioca flour or corn starch with a tiny amount of cool broth or water before adding to the hot gravy mixture and stir constantly until mixture thickens, this help to avoid lumps. Only add a little starch mixture at first, more can be added as needed.

Mash potatoes: My family is allergic to dairy, so I use a little chicken broth for the liquid, and olive oil for the margarine. Use you favorite seasonings, the potatoes taste great and it also cuts down on calories.

Pumpkin Pie: Since my family is allergic to gluten, soy, dairy and eggs, this is a real challenge. The filling can be made using a traditional pumpkin recipe (on the back of the can) using almond milk or Coconut milk and EnerG Egg replacer instead of the usually milk and eggs. The almond milk is a little thinner than condensed milk, so it needs a little buckwheat flour or gluten-free oatmeal added to thicken it up a bit. There are gluten-free crusts available at the store, but they usually won’t work when there are other food allergies. I use crushed Rice Chex cereal instead of a graham cracker crust. One trick I love is to pour melted “Enjoy Life” semi-sweet chocolate over the crushed Rice Cereal and letting it set up, before pouring in the filling. The Rice Chex get a bit soggy if you don’t use the chocolate. As a special topping, there is a product called Rich Whip® Frozen topping, that is sold near the Coolwhip section, it has no wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, or shellfish.

Hope these hints help to make your Thanksgiving Holiday happy and uneventful allergy wise.

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