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I'm allergic to lanolin which comes from sheep's wool. I get welts like a bug bite sometimes like a size of a dime.

so I cant' wear sheep wool.

cotton and acrylic are fine for me.

 

You can try t-shirt yarn, by making strips.

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  • 5 years later...

I don't think its the yarn at all. The extended movement of the forearms creates an internal irritability which then creates a histamine release in that area. This is why you do not break out in any other area. If it was an allergy to the material this reaction would be more systemic!! I am an R.N. and this happens to me only when I crochet for prolonged periods of time. Happy Crocheting

 

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I heard one time that they mist yarn with insect repellent in the factories. If that is true that could certainly be a possible irritant too I would think.

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  • 2 months later...

I realize the original post is very old, 8 years in fact but it is current to my situation. I think it is  Exercise-induced Urticaria.  It doesn't matter what type of yarn I'm using, I get it when I over do, When I crochet for hours and hours on end. Never on my hands, always on the forearms from wrist to elbow. Right arm worse than left. If I don't stop when I see the hives I get blisters too. I am seeing an allergist in February to find out for sure but I really think this is the cause.

post-78615-0-41406100-1477723585_thumb.jpg

Edited by Deb0424
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  • 5 months later...

I get the same rash as the picture above on both of my arms.  I notice the rash when I crochet or knit for long periods of time, which I always do.  The rashes leave scars on my arms.  I use the items I make and they never bother me.  I spin my own yarn using wool and alpaca with no problems, it's just when I crochet or knit that I have the problem.

 

Does anyone know what this is called?

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Welcome to Crochetville!

 

I googled this and you're definitely not alone.  There were a lot of answers, but this one seemed to make the most sense to me.

 

"It's not an allergy, it's the skin on the fore arm moving over the top of the muscle, hence the longer you crochet the worse it is. It's the friction of the skin and muscle. Staying hydrated helps and of course stop crocheting and take a break when it happens"

 

I found it at https://www.facebook.com/unravelme/posts/10151165887849247

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  • 1 year later...

 

  • I am glad I found this post, even though a bit old now, I see there have been a few comments over last two years so thought I would add to it. I experience the same thing, not just from extended periods of crochet, but also happened once when I was writing a lot by hand for exam study. For this reason I knew it wasn't the yarn I was using. I have used all kinds of yarn and last happened when using cotton. I also thought it might be coming from my wrists, or elbows or even shoulders as I have some arthritis all over and sometimes trapped nerves, also thinking maybe from carpal tunnel which I do suffer from now and again. But now i'm finding others have the same thing this is interesting. I am thinking the comments about histamine make a lot of sense, also the exercise theory and movement of the muscle. I would be interested to know if those people getting this also suffer from any of the above mentioned things. I have also recently, over last year or so been going through menopause, however I think this used to happen before that started. Even still it is very interesting that I am not alone and would love to know if anyone has had a diagnosis 🙂unhpost, even though a bit old now, I see there have been a few comments over last two years so thought I would add to it. I experience the same thing, not just from ex periods of crochet, but also happened once when I was writing a lot by hand for exam study. For this reason I knew it wasn't the yarn I was using. I have used all kinds of yarn and last happened when using cotton. I also thought it might be coming from my wrists, or elbows or even shoulders as I have some arthritis all over and sometimes trapped nerves, also thinking maybe from carpal tunnel which I do suffer from now and again. But now i'm finding others have the same thing this is interesting. I am thinking the comments about histamine make a lot of sense, also the exercise theory and movement of the muscle. I would be interested to know if those people getting this also suffer from any of the above mentioned things. I have also recently, over last year or so been going through menopause, however I think this used to happen before that started. Even still it is very interesting that I am not alone and would love to know if anyone has had a diagnosis
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Cotton has less 'give' than springier fibers like wool or acrylic, so you have to work a tiny bit harder to make stitches, which might be why you have more issues with it.  (replying to the above poster Samanthajane who sounds like she's having repetitive injury issues than rash/possible allergies).

I have arthritis (fingers) and past tendinitis (wrist, 'tennis', shoulder) issues that flare up, but I know where those came from (not crochet).  Never have had had to deal with rashes thank goodness.

 

Edited by Granny Square
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  • 6 months later...

I  am going through this right now.. it has happened before  last year when I crochet for long periods.. I have only been using Bernat blanket yarns lately.. I get the red hot  rash more on my right forearm than I I do on my left.. only my forearms.. nothing on my hands at all .. I have angeodema  which is unknown swelling and hives but this is different it almost feels like a chemical burn.. mine isn’t itchy like my normal hives are.. I took 30mg of Reactine and cortisone topical cream and it hasn’t let up.. it is the weirdest thing.. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know this is an old thread, but I had to put my two cents in. I get this, too. It doesn't matter if I wear sleeves or not. It is hives from repetitive motion. I just had to see if there were others out there like me! ^_^ Right now I have what looks like a sunburn on the backs of both forearms because I crocheted for several hours last night. The welts and most of the itching has gone away. 

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  • 1 year later...

I was reading your comment. I have the very same problem I love to crochet. After some period of time my wrist and forearm breaks out and terrible rash. It itches and it burns. It doesn’t matter what type of yarn I use. I get the rash regardless. I keep crocheting because I love it and don’t want to quit doing that.I’m just happy to know that I’m not the only person that this happens too. Thanks for the info everyone

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  • 1 month later...

Oh my gosh, just having an explanation for this issue is a relief. With the covid lockdowns I have had a lot more time to crochet, and I have been trying to make head way with some granny squares that will be a blanket. I pushed myself to crochet all day yesterday and well into this morning before putting it down and going to bed, when I finished both my arms were inflamed, red, hot welts that burned and itched. My arms looked just like the picture Deb Foster posted. This has been happening to me off and on for over twenty years now and I do have sensitive skin and some allergies so I kept wondering if it was an allergy to the yarn. The thing that kept baffling me was that it didn’t happen every time I crochet, and I never got the rash on my hands which touch the yarn, only on my arms that don’t. I got a flare up twice this week and was feeling discouraged and thought I would have to put this project away and find something else to work on. I got online this morning to try to find some answers or suggestions for this strange issue, I  have never heard of Exercise-induced urticaria, so I guess now that I know what is going on, I will try antihistamines and crocheting in shorter sessions to give my muscles a break. I might also try putting ice packs on my arms when I take a break to cool the muscle down. I have also change the way I am holding the hook I usually hold the hook like a pencil which adds more twisting of the wrist and muscles of the forearm which also causes more pain in my hand and wrist during long sessions. I have been trying to get used to holding the hook like a knife, I find it takes the stress off my hand and wrist and as I am trying it out now I also find it also puts less stress on the muscles of my forearm. Now that I know what is going on I guess those long marathon crocheting sessions are out of the question. Thank you to everyone that added to this post, all comments and information sharing is so helpful. Happy yarn crafting to you all. 

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  • 2 months later...

I got a rash on my lower legs after a weekend spent in Disneyland, a walking tour of Europe and a walking tour of NY. I also get the same rash on my forearms if I crochet for more than a couple of hours. My doctor says it’s most likely “Disney Rash” aka exercise-induced vasculitis (EIV). 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi!! Me too!! Just my forearms, they welt, get hot and turn a deep red! The yarn is polyester and I’m wondering if it is chemically treated somehow which is what causes the irritation?

it takes 2-3 days to go away, but comes right back when I crochet again. 
I had to take 2 Benadryl last night plus Benadryl cream and it’s still there. 

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3 hours ago, Sharman said:

Hi!! Me too!! Just my forearms, they welt, get hot and turn a deep red! The yarn is polyester and I’m wondering if it is chemically treated somehow which is what causes the irritation?

it takes 2-3 days to go away, but comes right back when I crochet again. 
I had to take 2 Benadryl last night plus Benadryl cream and it’s still there. 

Try long sleeve cotton shirts to wear while crocheting. It might still get on your hands though. In case it is exercise related, be sure to take a break every half hour or so.

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