Allergies & Sjorgen's

Hi, having suffered for many years with (facial) skin problems, swellings, joint pains, gum disease etc, I was eventually referred to a specialist (by my dentist of all people, as the inside of my mouth was so swollen and my GP didn't know what to do). The specialist did a variety of tests and said I had Sjorgen's syndrome and I left with my diagnosis, plus an array of steroid treatments. The steroids had no affect whatsoever, so in desperation, I returned to my GP and luckily for me, there was a locum on duty. She took one look at my symptoms and said: "have you ever been for allergy diagnosis?" I said "no" - no one had ever suggested it, so I ended up 2 days later at the allergy clinic at my local hospital where it was discovered I suffer from contact allergies on a grand scale. As soon as I started to eliminate the materials I am allergic to, I began to improve (balsam of Peru - any substance with "benzo" in the name - citric acid, sorbitol, perfume, E-numbers, vanilla, curry, preservatives, and good old dust mite!) Astonishingly, I am now almost back to normal and don't believe I ever had Sjorgen's at all. However, one thing continues to bother me greatly. I take quite large doses of Evening Primose daily (3000mg) and if I stop taking these, the skin on my face and neck develops (over 3 days) a layer of dry flakiness, like a mask, that looks exactly like sandpaper, and is intensely itchy. I am thinking of going back to my GP and asking to see a dermatologist but I'd be very interested to hear if anyone else has suffered anything like this? As soon as I return to large doses of EP, my face/neck returns to pretty good condition but I can't get my head around what is causing this as all of my other symptoms disappeared. Thanks everyone. Trish.

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  • Did you have a consultant at the allergy testing clinic as that might be worth a call back. In my experience dermatolgists will offer you a standard management regime of emollient use with corticosteroid ointment/cream of lowest strength that will control the skin breakdown, but might be prepared to look at other solutions such as immunosuppressants. Have a wee look at the National Eczema Society site, they have a good overview of possible treatments and their pros and cons.