January 14, 2020 - 8:48am
Skin breaking out suddenly
I've been baking bread for years now and I've never had an issue with my skin getting irritated, but recently it's started to get red and itchy, around my fingers specifically, any time I roll out dough?
I don't really tend to change my ingredients that much and it only gets bad when I make bread and handle it, can anyone help? I'm thinking of starting to wear gloves like these since they are pweder-free and food safe, because I don't want to use any types of creams or ointments that might affect the dough.
Just curious: are you baking professionally and handling dough all day long? Or is this just a once in a while, at home thing?
Either way, yes, people have been known to develop allergies and experience skin irritation (itching, hives, etc) from handling dough. I would imagine gloves and/or frequent hand washing would alleviate the symptoms but I can't say that for certain.
How about olive oil or coconut oil or any number of food oils or fat? Rub into hands and allow to soak in before handling flour or dough. Might want to cut out baking until an allergy test is done by a health professional. Take note of which grains and recipes are causing the rash and any foods or medications (including teas and herbal supplements) consumed at the same time. Eventually you might have to switch to a different grain for flour but find out which ones irritate you to avoid them.
I noticed you said 'it only gets bad'. If you have a little on going skin irritation. I would only like to suggest you try addressing this allergy from the inside out. Maybe it's a food allergy or something similar. Something you might do is check your flour for MSG non-organic. You want pesticide free. Labeling can be very misleading. If the flour bag says MSG free and not organic labeled, it is sprayed with a pesticide just at the end of harvest for intentions of drying it. Try avoiding consuming oils, especially foods like cheese, meats, maybe even good oils like avocado. Check your diet and see if that doesn't get to the root of your problem.
I had a similar issue with plants in a greenhouse I worked in. You can confirm contact dermatitis by rolling up a piece of dough and putting it against the skin on your arm above the wrist with a bandaid. In my case I got welts within minutes. Might try three patch tests, one with wet flour, one with dry flour and another with dough.
I saw a dermatologist and avoidance was the only solution. Look into a product called Liquid Glove or wear gloves. You can get used to them quickly.
Might not want to inhale flour dust particles.
Good point, scary to think of a reaction in the lungs!
I had something similar when using Matthews T55 flour which contains added alpha-amylase and xylanase. After reading Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters I stopped using Matthews flour and the dry skin has gone away.