i'm hoping someone here can shed some light on a recent situation that occurred, or rather keeps occurring.
about 2 weeks ago, i was visiting my boyfriend (he lives and works about an hour and a half from me). i had gone to bed a few hours before and he came in and woke me up because he had broken out in welts all around his waist (precisely along where his underwear waistband hits). my immediate reaction was to ask him if his mom had done his laundry while he was visiting home that weekend (she usually does) and if she maybe had bought a new brand of detergent. he said that she had indeed washed his clothes but wasn't sure about the detergent.
he put some cortisone on the affected area and i went back to sleep. flash forward to around 6 a.m. He woke me up again because he now had itchy welts on his back, stomach, arms, legs, neck and face. he called his mom (a nurse) and she confirmed that she had switched detergents (but it was a baby detergent, which i thought was odd) and asked him if he had any benadryl, which he did not. we got dressed and ran to the store for some benadryl, he took it, and when he woke up a few hours later, he was fine.
so we initially chalked it up to the detergent. he rewashed all of the clothes his mom had washed for him to be safe. well, a few days later, he called me on his dinner break (he works nights) as usual and said that the welts/rash had returned the night before. i asked him if he could think of any other factor that could cause a break out and he said the only thing that came to mind was peanut butter. he said he'd eaten a peanut butter sandwich for dinner and then had peanut butter and crackers when he came home from work and the welts returned shortly after. he also recalled eating peanut butter the night of the first rash episode.
again, he took the benadryl and was fine upon waking. he avoided peanut butter for the rest of the week and last weekend i went to visit him again. since he had been rash free for several days, on saturday afternoon he tried to eat peanut butter again and lo and behold, about 15 minutes later, the welts appeared. so we were almost certain peanut butter was the problem. (unfortunately, because he loves peanut butter and peanuts!).
but the story doesn't end here.... he has avoided peanut butter since then but the night before last, he told me that he broke out AGAIN, but had not eaten anything with peanuts! so now we are really confused.
now here is my question: what is the likelihood of developing an allergic reaction to a certain food as an adult? i mean, i'm sure it is possible and does happen but my boyfriend never had a problem with peanuts in his life. he DID see an allergist when he was about 5-6 because he had lots of stomach problems with no apparent cause, and the allergist ran the full gamut of tests on him, but peanuts never caused him any trouble.
also, can anyone think of any other factors that may contribute to this sort of reaction? he has switched to a dye and fragrance free detergent to be safe and washed all of his clothes and bedding with that. his apartment is really clean as we thoroughly dusted and changed the air filters recently but i was just wondering what else might cause this that we overlooked.
as of now we have no clue if it's environmental or food related. or either. so we are trying to eliminate any possible triggers to see if that helps before he goes to see the doctor.
anyway.. i appreciate any comments/suggestions! thanks!
[This message has been edited by gloworm (edited 02-17-2005).]