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I recently started a Crochet Along and bought some Caron Simply Soft from my local Wal-mart. This yarn is 100% Acrylic. I spent several hours last week crocheting and a welty rash started developing on my forearms. I did start a new antibiotic and allergy medicine that same day and thought maybe the reaction was to that. I am on a new antibiotic that I started several days ago with no problems. Last night I was crocheting for several hours again and broke out in the same rash and my face looks a little swollen this morning too.

 

I crocheted with RHSS yarn that was 100% acrylic a few weeks ago with no problems. So I'm wondering if it could be the dye? I've also read about starches manufacturers use on yarn...could it be that? Would washing the yarn skein first help before I just give it all away?

 

Anyone have experience with an Allergic reaction to a brand of yarn for no apparent reason? I know some people are allergic to wool but this is not wool.

 

Thanks for any help or advice!

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You're more likely having a reaction to the antibiotic. You can even have an allergic reaction to an antibiotic just after having finished it ~ surprise! Your forearms, wrists, neck and face are the most common places for hives to begin, although you can have them anywhere.

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Hi and welcome to the ville:hook

 

It is possible to be allergic to acrylic, or like you said to something that was used in processing the yarn. Maybe you should put the yarn aside until you are finished with the antibiotic, or any other new medications, so you can better determine what you might be reacting to.

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Thanks for all your replies. Crocheted some last night with no problems. I found someone online saying that they were rubbing the back of their arms on their shirt in the chest area, if you know what I mean, while they were crocheting without realizing what they were doing. This caused them to break out because of something in the laundry detergent and the constant contact with their arm rubbing on their shirt gave them a bad rash.

 

While I was crocheting I realized that depending on how I am sitting, I tend to rub my forearms on my 'chest area' while crocheting too. I had to consciously make an effort not to do this. I crocheted for about 1 1/2 hours without breaking out!! So I'm not 100% convinced this is the cause but I will keep paying attention to my arm position while I'm crocheting!

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Obviously you should certainly set aside that project, BUT more importantly if you are having an allergic reaction of any kind for any reason - you should be contacting the health care professional who prescribed it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I cannot use that yarn either.

I finally contacted the company and they refunded my money , or they said I could choice another yarn to replace it. I took the yarn , I now forgot which ; but it was so soft.

contact them and tell them about it.

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It can happen...

I had the problem with RH Super Saver. All the other Red Heart yarns never bothered me, just that type. I believe It was fixed by Red Heart, because I tried it once more about a year ago and all was OK. So let Caron know if it happens again. They get enough notices and they will investigate and attempt to fix the problem.

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  • 2 years later...

it may not be the yarn it could be a few other things...Like where you get your yarn from...yarn gets tossed around on the floor/etc it could be a cleaner they cleaned the floor w/ or maybe something on the shelf....Just another idea....to consider..but it could be the brand of yarn too

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  • 1 year later...

I once read that the problem could be the dye, not the fiber. I bought myself a very nice, very expensive alpaca, only to be sneezing and eyes watering. I made a very nice cowl but gave it to my sister. I later read that alpaca is the least allergenic wool, but it was probably the dye. (it was from knitpicks)

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  • 4 years later...

Is there a yarn that anyone recommends for me to use for making sweaters, scarfs, shawls etc for people that may be allergic to any type of wool or acrylic? I actually saw a very nice alpaca yarn but since most of the people in my family are allergic to wool or acrylic, I had to use cotton. Any recommendations?

Edited by Jaime Isaac
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  • 2 months later...

I am expriencing same problem. It can be happen from crochet handle.So I ordered new needles with bamboo handles. I will try and see.

Bamoo crochet woked, but not a comfortable knitting like metal crochet. Maybe my hand is not used yet. So I like metal needles with bamboo handles. Thats ok. there's no itching and redness for 10 days.  

 

Edited by Yonca
tried my advice
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One good fiber is bamboo yarn. It is also paired sometimes with silk or cotton. Maybe that would work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

16107856261348626618490486060369.thumb.jpg.221687a6f22876695ee64dd871890def.jpgI am having a break out problem too. I have used Red Heart Super Saver from Walmart (in assorted colors) for years and this one skein has the backs of my forearms broken out, bad. I had the blanket piled in my lap to keep the kitten out of it, and my arms were tucked in it. Didn't even notice until I was finishing up and my arms were red and burning.

16107856809232628864757296617938.jpg

Edited by MegxMag
I added pictures.
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  • 2 months later...

I just recently had a big, immediate allergic reaction (sneeze fits and the reddest itchiest eyes for a day) to a project I'd picked back up after a couple years in storage. I don't think the storage conditions are to blame; it was paper-bagged with cedar blocks in a drawer, but alongside several other similarly-bagged projects and yarns that are all just fine (I had to check if everything was compromised via some nerve-wracking yarn-huffing, but only this one gave me problems). I didn't have any issues for the first 3/4 of this project, so it's definitely something that happened while in storage, but only to this yarn.

The problem sack is all fisherman's wool (no dyes, all lanolin, stored w/ cedar). No signs of moths, and dust mites would surely have gotten into adjacent and just-as- or more-appealing sacks of wool-silk, acrylic, and random other yarns, right? Could the wool itself have just gotten so brittle that it's breaking down into irritating little shards? Is that even a thing?? I thought brittled yarns were just more prone to snapping, but this... before I haz-mat up to tie things off and try a wash (which I imagine won't work if the yarn itself is shedding allergens), I thought I'd ask for advice. Has anyone else heard of something like this happening before? Was there a way to recover from it?

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Hard to say what’s happened. Have you had any wool allergies or sensitivities prior to this?  The only wool I can stand is superwash merino wool with prolonged skin exposure. I’ll break out and itch with other wool. 

Not sure why it would be brittle or breaking down like that especially if there isn’t any color/dyes. Maybe the cedar blocks triggered the response??  

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Hrm. No issues with either wool or cedar (lol, lanolin was my breastfeeding savior, and I hadn't had any issues making the first 3/4 of the now-allergenic sweater). I donned PPE today and de-wound all the yarn into loose loops to give 'em all a wash (soaked with woolite, rinsed, then hung out to dry). Some of the yarn balls, and the outer layers of some skeins, had gotten very brittle somehow. While post-wash they no longer trigger sneeze fits, and the first half of the yarn spools felt fine being re-balled (if now knottier than they initially were through breakage), my face is still all kinds of itchy after giving the sweater a snuff. The sweater shed fibers like mad when it was washed, so maybe that's it (i.e. shedding little wool splinters all over the place)? Maybe it needs more washing?? 

But more to the point (ha!), is it possible to un-brittle wool? Is there such a thing as conditioner for sweaters? I've got most of a sweater with all kinds of fancy cabling, and the idea of tossing it in the bin makes me so sad. If I can track down my old lanolin boob tube, I'll try a hot soak with some to try to re-condition the wool. Maybe it'll help. u_u 

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I read somewhere some time ago to use wool wash with lanolin for brittle wool. I can't attest to it since I do not work with wool.

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

I’ve had this issue on and off for about a year. Did a crochet marathon and broke out severely with blisters this time. After spending time eliminating yarns, adding yarns, it happened no matter what I did. I tried using a bamboo crochet hook and no problem with any yarns. Seems I’m allergic to nickle. It made complete sense once I figured it out as I can’t wear cheap earrings. Earlobes itch within minutes of wearing. Worth a try to use wooden or bamboo. I couldn’t even use hooks with handle covers as I still touched the hook at times and broke out. Good luck! 

7734D657-D3E4-41AA-AD2C-3B2B65D54F31.jpeg

Edited by U-Neek
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Posted (edited)

U-Neek: Wow! that looks uncomfortable! Glad you figured out your problem. Some forget or don't know that acrylic is made from petroleum. I get headaches when pumping gas into my car. I also have sensitivity to some fabric softeners, and when crocheting, the bottom of my forearms rubbed on my clothing, then broke out. It took awhile to figure that one out.

Many years ago, people were breaking out from yarn purchased at a big box store here. It was discovered that pesticide was getting on some of the yarns on the lower shelves. Huge no-no! Some were returning the yarn, some were washing the skeins in lingerie' bags. I wouldn't have purchased any since I can smell pesticide yards away. Needles to say, sensitivities can play havoc for several reasons.

Edited by ReniC
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Gosh U-Neek, I'm sorry that happened, that looks painful!!

I have nickel-plated earring issues too (and have thrown those all out decades ago and now only own [a lot fewer] gold ones), but I suspect a nickel allergy is an unlikely cause for your awful rash.  In my case there was a small area of soreness and maybe mild pinkness localized 1mm-ish around the earlobe piercing. 

I could understand a nickel-caused reaction in your palm and finger hook-holding areas maybe, but your hand is not inflamed from what I can see on your photo.  Now that I think of it, I use nickel plated hooks and knitting needles without giving it a thought, and have had zero reaction in my hands (and with knitting would be 2 hands)...maybe nickel contact with epidermis versus contact with pierced ear scar tissue is what makes the difference? (who knows).  If you were doing a crochet marathon, it just might be due to the constant slightly rough texture of the fabric scraping against your forearms for hours on end, especially if you were making something big like a blanket.  I use leftover acrylic skein-ends to make dish scrubbies because it's rougher than cotton.

Re: contaminants...without going into boring details, it could have come from the factory or in transit or storage before it got to the yarn store.  A lot of yarn is manufactured offshore (China, Turkey).  Before I retired I was a purchasing agent for an electronic company in Silicon Valley, and most of the stuff I bought were electronic components that were manufactured in far-flung tropical-ish high humidity and probably bug-prone areas.  We had a few incidents where outer packaging reeked of who-knows-what chemical, probably insecticides or anti-mold stuff.  The contents were were not affected because there was a lot of protective inner packaging; this only happened a few times, and the supplier and the the transporter pointed fingers at each other.  I imagine shipments of soft squishy unbreakable yarn from wherever aren't internally packaged as well as expensive components, so might be more prone to nasty chemical smells or damage.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

My arm cleared up completely so I decided to switch from bamboo to aluminum hooks just to see what would happen. Within minutes my arm started to itch and burn. So I set them down. Picked up the bamboo hook and the itching stopped. It does seem strange, but if you knew me… it’s par for the course. 😂 Only I, could be allergic to my crochet hooks! 

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