chemical burns and workplace soap

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12 years 7 months ago #20808 by moggy
I developed a problem a year and a half ago when I was in hospital with my burnt foot. They taped my wedding ring up in preparation for the operation. The operation was delayed two days, so I had two days of paper tape on my wedding ring finger. In that time I washed my hands several times with the usual hospital antibacterial soap.
Result - chemical burns to my finger, pretty bad that took a couple of months to heal up.
Work changed their supplier of soap, the supplier installed antibacterial soap, and yup you guessed it, chemical burns to the finger again. So bad that I had to remember to remove my ring every time I had been to the toilet.
Last weekend I washed my hair and went straight to bed. again burnt finger which is just healing up.
The burns are bad enough to be gradually eating away at the finger.

I know the solution is to remove the ring and let the finger dry out and clean the ring each time (it is a celtic knot design and holds water in the gaps) but I am always going to forget sometimes. If it wasn't my wedding ring I would just not wear it. I have already had to stop wearing my eternity ring and engagement ring except on special occassions.

Any recommendations as to something I could apply daily to stop this happening?

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12 years 7 months ago #304715 by goatmama
could you use bepanthene on your finger each morning? It sooths, heals and protects. Not sure if it would last all day though. I had a similar thing with my wedding ring only mine was from washing dishes in too hot water. I also have a celtic ring but mine is solid with etched relief and it trapped the heat and the wet causing the finger to slough under the band. I had to stop doing dishes, not a hardship, and my ring was worn on a heavy necklace.
Hope this helps. You are not alone :)

10 acres in sunny Southland. Husband and 3 boys. 17 Wilties, "Clucky quarters" 2 doz + chooks, rouen clair ducks, Coffee our Irish Terrier and Kaz and Mooch our wee Kitty's. Our Big White Shepherd, Nena. Bennie and Mo the moos
Prov 27:27

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12 years 7 months ago #304717 by Seaside
Sound to me (not a medical professional but have written about occupational health and safety for years in the UK) like a severe case of dermatitis. Dermatitis is the skin reacting to a particular substance (also called sensitisation - ie your skin has become sensitised to that product).

Am I right in thinking that other people you work with don't suffer from these 'burns' when they use the same soap? My ex-husband had a similar thing with the adhesive on sticking plasters - his skin used to blister, and in fact ended up losing his wedding ring because he took it off at work when his skin was sore.

Once you've reacted to something, you will continue to react to it if you are exposed to it. In other words, you have to stop using products with that particular substance in it. The easiest way is to replace the soap with another product that does not contain whatever substance is causing your reaction.

As it's workplace exposure, it's called occupational dermatitis, and your employer has a legal responsibility to protect you from exposure.

Edited to add: I re-read the original post and it seems like your shampoo is causing it also? On a practical level, you could try using non-allergenic soap products, including shampoo. Preventing exposure is the best way, however if that's not going to work, then you could look at using a barrier cream perhaps - though I don't know how effective that would be when your skin needs to heal in the first place.

Kids, beasts, and chillies in Swannanoa South.
www.farmaway.co.nz

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12 years 7 months ago #304750 by moggy
Looking at the marks I get, I think it is more of a burn than dermatitis (I get that from other things), as it is very specifically under the ring an not a mm to the side (looks like I had my ring branded on). Obviously my skin has got over sensitive as for the first 4 years of marriage I had no problem at all.
Fortunately yesterday coincidentally the soap was changed at work to one is not anti bacterial or thick enough to clog in the ring. But yes the shampoo now seems to have the same effect. Yes avoidance is definitely the best thing, but just when I thought I had narrowed it down to antibacterial soap - the shampoo thing happened (first time). So trying to find something that would get rid of the allergy/burn or be a barrier to stop it happening.

what is bepanthene goatmamma?

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12 years 7 months ago #304757 by jen
I had a relative who was training as a nurse, but reacted badly to the soaps they used. they advised her to wash rinse/rub her hands in very hot water for 30 secs or so and that would kill alot of the stuff she was trying to wash off, I think she was ok with the alcohol sanitiser which she would use after she dried them

jen (returned to townie life)
community.webshots.com/user/j_nepton

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12 years 7 months ago #304766 by jeannielea
Wearing the ring on a necklace sounds like a good idea until the finger heals. At least you'd always know where it is.

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12 years 7 months ago #304779 by Jack
Replied by Jack on topic chemical burns and workplace soap
Gidday

Keep your ring on your finger but don't touch that bloody chemical stuff.

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12 years 7 months ago #304780 by DiDi
Interesting topic as I started reacting to a gold ring and had no choice but to take it off and only wear it occasionaly. It worked once I presumably desensitised my finger to gradual reintroducion of the gold ring. I know it is your wedding ring but your marriage should not fall over if you stop wearing your ring on your ring finger. Try it as others have suggested on a chain around your neck. If you start getting a sore spot on your chest then you will need to think about desensitising your body to the metal in your ring.

My hairdresser had to keep a special bottle of shampoo and conditioner just for me as I would have such a strong reaction to his main promoted product. Answer - change shampoo. I have just learnt by trial and error what I can handle. Interesting that herbal shampoo does not work for me either but a hairdresser one does.

Makeup - can happily tolerate skin products from one manufacturer but use it on my eyes and no way. So I use a mixture! This is daft for me as I don't use any drugs including asprin etc and I can't figure why as I have become older that I have developed allergies that I did not have when younger exept for allergies to "sticking plaster" and even worse "sutures". I will end up looking like a Monster if I ever go through a car windscreen so I am a very defensive driver as a result! No harm in that.

I can't tell you how many doctors have said this is super hyperallergenic suture material (e.g. mole removal) and I go "won't work" and they then have to dig sutures out usually within 24 hours! I can tolerate (partially) one suture material called Dexon but I believe it costs in the region of $40 per whatever as opposed to the new improved ones at $4 per whatever. Yeah - lucky me!

And yet I don't have asthma, seasonal hayfever etc. Strange how our bodies work.

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12 years 7 months ago #304790 by Simkin
I haven't worn my wedding ring for decades and don't use that kind of soap and am still alive - and married. My health and wellbeing is worth more to me than wearing something I don't really need.

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12 years 7 months ago #304795 by moggy
when it gets bad, I wear it on my right hand, or on a chain round my neck, but i would really like to find a solution, i like my wedding ring and would like to wear it. OH was at first upset when I took it off, but the last time when he saw the burn marks he realised it was nothing to do with how I felt about the marriage, just what my finger felt.

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12 years 7 months ago #304799 by betenoir
Just as an aside (sorry no solution but this is good for a laugh) there is a well known 'environmentally friendly' handcleanser that has the following warning on its MSDS sheet 'Avoid contact with skin, wash hands after use or wear appropriate gloves' !!!!!

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] BAAAAAAAAA

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12 years 7 months ago #304805 by goatmama
Bepanthen is an antiseptic cream with vitamin B5. As I said before, it soothes, heals and protects. I haveused it for every thing from cracked nipples(yes on the goats also), nappy rash, exma( not sure of spelling but you get the idea), burns and healing wounds not open ones, and dry skin. You can get it from a chemist and a tube will last for ages.
By the way, My dearly beloved learned quickly that a bit of metal on my finger or around my neck didnt make any diference to our marrital vows or state of marriage. They understand a lot more than we give them credit for at times.

10 acres in sunny Southland. Husband and 3 boys. 17 Wilties, "Clucky quarters" 2 doz + chooks, rouen clair ducks, Coffee our Irish Terrier and Kaz and Mooch our wee Kitty's. Our Big White Shepherd, Nena. Bennie and Mo the moos
Prov 27:27

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12 years 7 months ago #304807 by Kiwi303
can you paint the inside and sides of the ring with a clear lacquer? either clear nail polish you don't react to, or a clear metal lacquer that trophy polishers coat trophies with to keep them shiny?

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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12 years 7 months ago #304825 by Leeanne
I stopped wearing any rings after seeing someone loose their finger due to wedding ring......
Also found it would catch the reins when riding so mine sits in draw.

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12 years 7 months ago #304837 by moggy

Kiwi303;288682 wrote: can you paint the inside and sides of the ring with a clear lacquer? either clear nail polish you don't react to, or a clear metal lacquer that trophy polishers coat trophies with to keep them shiny?

no it is not the metal that causes the reaction, it is the soap. You can see this as I actually get a celtic knot pattern burnt into the finger. The burns are not where the metal is, but where the holes are and the soap lingers.
Hubbie used to hate me taking the ring off, but after the last time when he saw it, he realised I wasn't doing it for no reason.

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