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Bread Baking Related Hives?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi~

I am a pastry student and have been studying boulangerie, artisan breads, for the past two weeks. We have class Monday through Thursday, and, without fail, by Thursday my lower arms are covered in small, irritated red hives. Last week we took a four day intro class into Sugar and Chocolaterie, and I found out I am very allergic to latex gloves. I only wore the gloves for one day, but my right hand still has a multitude of medium sized red, irritated bumps. Could the hives on my lower arms be caused by the ones on my right hand? Or could I be allergic to yeast, flour, etc? The only new thing I've noticed is that my hand became a little swollen and red after working in a poolish and levain-levure, which led to my yeast theory :)

In any case, just wanted to know if any other bakers have had issues with hives, or if anyone has any info regarding my "direct contact with yeast = hives" theory.

Thanks!

post #2 of 17
I've not had hives, but I do tend to get ecxema sometimes. Pastry chefs and bakers tend to get lots of skin irratations apparently, and I worked with someone who was allergic to flour (as in, she'd start sneezing around it.) I doubt this helps, but you'll probably get lots of sympathy, or at least competition for worse reactions.
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Want to see what I'm getting up to at college and in my spare time? Check out my blog or feel free to recommend one you think I might like!
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post #3 of 17
Allergy is probably correct although if its the yeast or the flour I cannot say.
I just noticed last week after much baking and only using my left hand for mixing poolish and kneading that it has some red rash on it. This weekend I switched to my right hand doing no knead Sourdough, and made a few loaves of French bread and now my right hand has a rash which was bad enough to take a benadryl this A.M. and one just now tonight. I am thinking its the yeast because I use flour in many other applications and have not had this problem before.
I have 2 loaves of no knead ready to form ,rise, and bake tomorrow morning and I am sure going to wear gloves.........................
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi,

thanks for the info....I'm thinking that I may have the same problem as you, Chefboy, because I really only notice it after I've been working with yeast-heavy products like preferments. Quick question, are you allergic to latex gloves? And if so, do the non-latex really help? I've never had issues with latex in the past, so was wondering if maybe the constrictive, hot/sweaty gloves were irritating, rather than the latex itself (not sure If that makes sense).

Thanks again!
post #5 of 17
I again agree with you. Warmth and moisture seem to irritate it much more for me. I can not comment about the latex as I have been working in health care since 1997 and though the outfit I am with currently is cheap with the money on the food budget they do buy very good gloves. We made the switch from the non latex powdered to a newer green friendly Aloe glove which is quite comfortable. Ask your instructor about these as I pick up a case for 25 dollars
from Sysco which is 4 boxes of 100 I think? I used them yesterday to finish my no knead bread and the hands are much improved in just one day.
Health care pretty much got away from latex in my operations I have worked as there was just to much skin irritation with the staff and even the powdered non latex was causing some skin problems for the sensitive but since the switch almost 2 years ago there have been nothing but raves.
Hope this helps........
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely look for non powdered, non latex gloves when I go shopping. Also, I'll ask the admin about buying the Sysco Aloe gloves, as I'm not the only one experiencing problems with the gloves, among other things. Thanks again, I never anticipated having so many problems with my hands, but since starting school its been one thing after another. Oh well, haha...they could be worse :p
post #7 of 17
Just be very careful. Allergies can worsen over time. You may experience hives for some time, but then have other symptoms out of the blue. My daughter is a nurse and was sensitive to latex gloves- they gave her hives. Then one day, she wore them and got dizzy and nearly passed out. She had to be helped into a chair. Latex now gives her breathing difficulties.

A woman who worked for me had worked in an artisan bread bakery. She had to quit because she developed a cough that she couldn't get rid of. I can't remember if she said it was an allergy or just the fact that there was so much flour dust in the air what irritated her lungs. Same result, I guess.

Just make sure you keep benydril with you all the time.

Edited to add that as a mom, I know liquid benydril works faster.;)
post #8 of 17
+1 :thumb::thumb:
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #9 of 17
This time of year in the northern climes - it could be two likely possibilities. As you are in California, you probably don't have as much of a problem with the dryness of winter air.

I always have to use a lot of good hand creams in the winter, just from frequent hand washing my skin gets dried out to a rash sometimes.

Since you mentioned poolish and levain, it is likely the natural enzymes, combined with the acidity. Amylase and Protease enzyme allergies, while not common, do exhist, and these occur naturally in flour, plus enzyme active barley flour is often blended or milled in to commercial bread flours in the US.

I always have to wear gloves when working with rye sours as my skin just breaks out in a rash very quickly otherwise. It is apparently the acidity and the enzyme combo that gets me.

A good idea to figure this out so you are not plagued by it and can just manage it.
Success is getting to eat your mistakes along the way.........

35 years of baking and pastry making, and every day still brings new learning opportunities.
Happy Baking! Cheers! Mr. Pastry
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Success is getting to eat your mistakes along the way.........

35 years of baking and pastry making, and every day still brings new learning opportunities.
Happy Baking! Cheers! Mr. Pastry
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post #10 of 17
It sounds like a contact allergy of sorts to me. Ditch the latex and get your hands on some non powdered vinyl gloves (no pun intended). Ive gone way beyond benadryl (now on a mixture of Diprosone cream and Prednisone tablets).

One thing can help is to wear cotton gloves under the vinyl, to draw away moisture. It feels wierd at first, but once you get used to it, its not a problem. Sometimes you may see people working at greengrocers wearing them.
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #11 of 17

My hand adventures

I have similar problems with my hands that we have found are multi symptom.
1)I am sensitive to perfumes and ingredients in most soaps which leaves my hands irritated, dry and more suceptible to other things. Lotion, lotion, lotion and cotton gloves while sleeping are what the dermatologist swears by & it seems to help.
2)I am allergic to cornstarch which is in all gloves, there are even trace amounts in "powder-free" varieties.
3)my skin is sensitive to acid found in chocolate and bleached flour. The only way to keep these from your skin is to wear gloves - ironic huh?

What has been working for me:

I have found antibacterial soap which doesn't irritate my hands. The fact that I have "unapproved" chemicals in the kitchen irritates the health inspector so we hide it when he comes around :)
I go through lotion like its going out of style & ruin a couple pairs of cotton gloves a month.
I take a daily 24hr antihistamine to provide low level control and keep benydril on hand for emergencies. (they make this pen that is geat for spot control on the skin too)
I take off gloves and wash my hands as soon as I am done with the task that needed gloves no point prolonging exposure.
I bought a really great exoglass spoon to stir bread dough with. it's tough, non porous and has only a tiny bit of flex to it.

Hope some of this helps
post #12 of 17
Great observation and actions taken on your part. I am also sensitive to perfumes to the point of not shaving(I do like a beard well trimmed) and not using any type of cologne or scented deodorant(use Armor Hammer baking soda brand).

I see you and others make a point of using lotion to help with the rash and I would like to know what brand you users get the best results from.

Great input from all of you on this sensitive subject and I hope others with this affliction can benefit from our combined efforts here............
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #13 of 17
Well, the new year hasnt exactly gone as planned.

Diagnosed with a fish allergy that means I have to carry a Epi Pen.

Noice huh. But anyway, the fish allergy doesnt occur unless i eat it.

The weird thing is that it only has occurred in the last 3 -4 months. A interesting thing that I had read was about Oral Allergy Syndrome, worth a look into.
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #14 of 17
Our company provides us with PROGUARD by Decon Laboratories Inc. - absolutely the best stuff I have ever used in my life, and I have used many different ones over the years - including also Avon and Amway products. This stuff is the BOMB!
Success is getting to eat your mistakes along the way.........

35 years of baking and pastry making, and every day still brings new learning opportunities.
Happy Baking! Cheers! Mr. Pastry
Reply
Success is getting to eat your mistakes along the way.........

35 years of baking and pastry making, and every day still brings new learning opportunities.
Happy Baking! Cheers! Mr. Pastry
Reply
post #15 of 17
For lotion I use gold bond ultimatehealing, lubriderm for sensitive skin and auqaphor. My litte sister can't even handle the gold bond, but she uses the other 2 plus cetaphil. Cetaphil also makes hand soap that is wonderful.
post #16 of 17
That is interesting. I had an issue with fish only while I was pregnant. I hated it because I love fish!
post #17 of 17

petit.patissier:

I had previously worked at a kitchen, in which I had to sanitize melons in an Iodine solution, which irritated my skin.

I am sorry that you seem to have Contact Dermatitis.

 

CandatoGo:

I think that your former co-worker had an Occupational Asthma known as Baker's Asthma, usually caused by a Wheat Allergy [Cheese Mites].

Occupational Asthma website.


Edited by TheUnknownCook - 12/7/10 at 4:25pm
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