Allergy - Jemsite
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-26-2015, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Allergy

Hello all,

Been absent for a while, so I hope you are all keeping well. Could do with a little advice. Had the mother of all flus back in February, even had to take time off work (I'm never ill!) and around that time my hands started to break out in tiny red blisters all over my palms and fingers. The blisters didn't burst like regular blisters do, the skin just cracked and touching anything and particularly picking became agony.

At first I blamed the flu meds, the flu went but the blisters remained, I went through a process of elimination and quickly discovered if I stopped playing for a few days the problem went away. I realised it has to be a nickel allergy which is commonly known as a type of contact dermatitis, it always starts on my right palm at the thumb, radiates out to my fingers and then to the left. If I stop playing for a week it goes away completely.

As allergies can appear without previous issues I figured it would be worth trying limited regular exposure in the hope of developing an immunity, it doesn't work that way apparently. I was making small gains, but if you can't play for an hour a day or every other day you stop making progress and your technique slides. The other issue is when the allergy symptoms appear, it's unsightly as hell, it looks like something you could only catch from a brothel in Kinshasa and while in winter you can get away with a pair of leather gloves, in the summer you begin to look like a Gestapo officer.

So, now I'm at the point where I need to change my string type, I generally use Ernie Ball Super Slinky gauge 9, are there any non nickel alternatives that feel identical? Does anyone else suffer from this?

Any advice is very much appreciated as neither stopping playing nor switching to acoustic are options for me.

Cheers,

Laobi
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-26-2015, 05:24 PM
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Re: Allergy

I wouldn't worry if the feel is the same, just that it's a non nickel string. Elixers should be fine as they're coated.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-26-2015, 10:05 PM
 
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Re: Allergy

I think I would email different companies asking them if they have any hypoallergenic options. Typically stainless is hypoallergenic. You may be forced into changing you fretwire as well.Again, stainless should be good for you.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this man.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 01:10 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Brazil
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Re: Allergy

tried everything: diets, different brands and materials(nickel, cobalt, stainless, coated), string lotions and cleaners and the only thing that works for me due to my very bad acid sweat is to use gloves. It took years for me to find a plausible solution hahahah. I got used to the compression on the hand and sewing, but it brought back the joy of playing and not worrying about string corrosion and sore fingers and blisters.

www.originalguitarfingers.com

good luck!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 03:48 PM
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Re: Allergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibzbr View Post
tried everything: diets, different brands and materials(nickel, cobalt, stainless, coated), string lotions and cleaners and the only thing that works for me due to my very bad acid sweat is to use gloves. It took years for me to find a plausible solution hahahah. I got used to the compression on the hand and sewing, but it brought back the joy of playing and not worrying about string corrosion and sore fingers and blisters.

www.originalguitarfingers.com

good luck!
they look mean. Can you shred with those?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 03:50 PM
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Re: Allergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laobi View Post
Hello all,

Been absent for a while, so I hope you are all keeping well. Could do with a little advice. Had the mother of all flus back in February, even had to take time off work (I'm never ill!) and around that time my hands started to break out in tiny red blisters all over my palms and fingers. The blisters didn't burst like regular blisters do, the skin just cracked and touching anything and particularly picking became agony.

At first I blamed the flu meds, the flu went but the blisters remained, I went through a process of elimination and quickly discovered if I stopped playing for a few days the problem went away. I realised it has to be a nickel allergy which is commonly known as a type of contact dermatitis, it always starts on my right palm at the thumb, radiates out to my fingers and then to the left. If I stop playing for a week it goes away completely.

As allergies can appear without previous issues I figured it would be worth trying limited regular exposure in the hope of developing an immunity, it doesn't work that way apparently. I was making small gains, but if you can't play for an hour a day or every other day you stop making progress and your technique slides. The other issue is when the allergy symptoms appear, it's unsightly as hell, it looks like something you could only catch from a brothel in Kinshasa and while in winter you can get away with a pair of leather gloves, in the summer you begin to look like a Gestapo officer.

So, now I'm at the point where I need to change my string type, I generally use Ernie Ball Super Slinky gauge 9, are there any non nickel alternatives that feel identical? Does anyone else suffer from this?

Any advice is very much appreciated as neither stopping playing nor switching to acoustic are options for me.

Cheers,

Laobi
sorry to hear, what did the doctors say? how old are you? did you try homeopathetic meds? I know my son overcame his ear glue allergy with some mysterious homeopathetic meds.
Best luck, I wish you can shred again limitless .

One other idea, maybe you can practice with some nylon string classical guitar?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 04:34 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Re: Allergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by panix View Post
they look mean. Can you shred with those?
you have to put some extra effort on your playing, I'd say that I achieve about 90, 95% of my regular speed when using the gloves.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Re: Allergy

Thank you all very much for your suggestions and kind wishes. I don't really sweat from my hands or fingers, so my first port of call will be different string coatings/materials. I'm going to try the elixirs(thanks Rich) and I've also ordered a set of Rotosound BritishSteel to give them a try. I'm lucky with regard to frets, my favorite axe has stainless steel frets and I rarely touch the frets. I'll keep you posted on how I progress, but I hope to be back playing soon and raping your ears in the monthly challenges.

Thanks again,

Laobi
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 05:54 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,930
Re: Allergy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laobi View Post
Thank you all very much for your suggestions and kind wishes. I don't really sweat from my hands or fingers, so my first port of call will be different string coatings/materials. I'm going to try the elixirs(thanks Rich) and I've also ordered a set of Rotosound BritishSteel to give them a try. I'm lucky with regard to frets, my favorite axe has stainless steel frets and I rarely touch the frets. I'll keep you posted on how I progress, but I hope to be back playing soon and raping your ears in the monthly challenges.

Thanks again,

Laobi
Hey man... good to hear from you! How bizarre that it came on so suddenly. I wondered where you had been on the challenges. I hope the change of strings takes care of the problem... along with nickel free frets on your favorite axe. I have been using the Elixir nanowebs recently and like them. The wound strings feel a little slick at first, but you get used to it quickly... plus less string noise when moving positions. The original Elixir Polywebs have a thicker coating which might be better for you... I've never tried them.

Good luck with it and I hope we get to hear you rockin' out again soon!
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