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Allergic to Guitar Strings

VirginiaTam 31 Mar 11 - 03:46 PM
Will Fly 31 Mar 11 - 03:53 PM
Crowhugger 31 Mar 11 - 07:46 PM
Commander Crabbe 31 Mar 11 - 08:17 PM
VirginiaTam 01 Apr 11 - 02:36 AM
banjoman 01 Apr 11 - 07:14 AM
Jack Campin 01 Apr 11 - 07:44 AM
Silas 01 Apr 11 - 08:35 AM
lefthanded guitar 01 Apr 11 - 03:28 PM
GUEST 01 Apr 11 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,999 01 Apr 11 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Apr 11 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,entropy 01 Apr 11 - 09:54 PM
VirginiaTam 02 Apr 11 - 03:38 AM
Crowhugger 02 Apr 11 - 11:30 AM
Jeri 02 Apr 11 - 11:35 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Apr 11 - 11:50 AM
leeneia 11 Apr 11 - 12:53 PM
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Subject: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 03:46 PM

I think I must have developed a metal allergy. I noticed since I restarted methotrexate (for rheumatoid arthritis) that I couldn't wear pierced earrings any more. Even though they are silver. The piercings were getting sore.

I have noticed that m skin is terribly thin on heel of right hand. Shiny and translucent.

Tonight I felt well enough to take down a guitar and tune it and played a couple of songs.   And now I have the most horrendous blister on the third finger of right hand (my picking hand) that feels like it has a shard of glass in it. all other fingers are ok. Usually the chording finger tips on left hand get sore from lack of callous. This is so different.

Has anyone heard of being allergic to guitar strings?


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 03:53 PM

VT - it may be that the methotrexate has caused you to be atopic [predisposed to allergies]. It's not an unknown condition. Coated string such as Elixir may stop this. Perhaps worth changing to a set to test out the theory.

It's also possible that if you haven't played for some time, the strings may be slightly dirty and /or your fingers have got very soft - hence the blister.


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: Crowhugger
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 07:46 PM

Not intending to raise unnecessary worry, VT:
"Methotrexate may cause serious or life-threatening skin reactions. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, rash, blisters, or peeling skin." I found it at this NIH web site:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682019.html
It's the 9th paragraph.

Generally speaking it can happen that abrasion increases the severity of any kind of skin reaction that would normally be mild. But maybe still worth having checked out.


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 08:17 PM

A friend of mine is allergic to any strings with nickel content.

CC


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 02:36 AM

hmmm.... I know about the skin side effects from methotrexate. This is why I take folic acid once a week as prescribed.

My mom developed a metal allergy to anything but white gold in her middle age and then grew out of it.

Might explain the couple of little sores on my back there bra hooks sometimes touch my skin too.

I will talk to RA nurse about it.


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: banjoman
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 07:14 AM

Hope it clears up for you - I know a bit about skin conditions and how they can affect life in general. You have my very best wishes for you to keep on playing and singing
Pete


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 07:44 AM

Nickel allergy affects abut 10% of the population to some extent. Once it gets severe enough to notice it will probably go on getting worse for the rest of your life, and there is nothing you can do about it except avoiding exposure.

Nickel is by far the most likely cause of the problem.

Googling "nickel-free guitar strings" gives a few hints. Though it is always possible the supplier of such might be lying (most "nickel-free" jewellery isn't).


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: Silas
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 08:35 AM

Try playing with boxing gloves on - I don't actually do this, but friends who have heard me play think I do...


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 03:28 PM

I recently went to a dermatologist who tested me for all kinds of things- at least 50 plus possible allergins- you have to wear a patch for a couple of days- and nickle definitely WAS something they tested for.

I tested negative for everything BUT I was told I could be suffering from 'sensitivities' to certain allergens- I guess that means it's not quite intense enough to show up on the test; but can bother me enough to cause rash, itching etc. Polyester is a big culprit for me.

Anyway I recommend checking it out with an allergist to see.. And if all else fails, you can always try nylon strings.


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 03:36 PM

Gosh... great info!


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: GUEST,999
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 03:47 PM

Have you tried bronze/phosphorous strings, VT.


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 09:17 PM

Thoughts:

1. It's odd that only one finger is affected. Maybe the problem had some other cause.

2. Are you using steel strings or nylon?

3. Is it possible to use bass strings which have no metal on them at all? Ask at a good music store.

4. Can you use picks so your fingers don't touch the strings?

5. How about painting your fingertips with something (clear fingernail polish?) to protect them from abrasion?

I'm glad you felt well enough to resume playing. I hope you can keep it up!


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: GUEST,entropy
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 09:54 PM

A trick i use a lot on my fingering hand is to coat my fingertips with superglue, and let it dry to a hard shell. when your fingers are raw from playing too much (as mine often get), you can do a lil dab of super glue, and your fingers will be armor-plated, enough to get you through a set or another practice session. I don't know if the results will be similar with the picking hand, but hey, give it a shot.
just remember not to touch anything before the glue dries.


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 03:38 AM

Strings are New Tone lights.

Affected finger seems to be alright now.

Thinking about it I had just cleaned the glass hob with that hob cleaner stuff. I didn't use gloves. Perhaps some of the cleaner got through the paper towels and ate into my finger tip.

Like the super glue idea, but I do have a sensitivity to that. Maybe clear nail polish on finger tips?


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: Crowhugger
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 11:30 AM

Certainly worth a try unless you're sensitive to those types of solvents. Glad it's probably nothing serious!


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 11:35 AM

I'm allergic to nickel, but guitar strings don't bother me. Last night, I was going to ask if you were SURE the strings were causing your problem, because the heel of the right hand doesn't normally get that involved in playing, and the left hand fingers get more involved. Those bits often brace the hand, but then you'd be looking at something on the face of the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 11:50 AM

Actually noticed the night before playing guitar that the heel of right hand the skin had gone all thin, translucent and shiny. Still is.


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Subject: RE: Allergic to Guitar Strings
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 12:53 PM

Clear fingernail polish might work. There's also a special kind of glue for gluing broken nails. That might be preferable to superglue, since it's designed to be in contact with flesh. (Because at least sometimes it will seep past the broken nail to the skin beneath.)

I hope you are able to resume playing, Virginia. Playing brings such joy.


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