Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jalapeños Are the Devil's Pepper!

I had something scary happen to me to day!

The day started off well enough. I wore fun socks.

I went to acting class from 10:30-2 and then picked up new headshots. I came home famished and got ready to eat some edamame I had in the fridge. Yum.

About thirty seconds later, I started scratching my neck. Then some more. And suddenly I realized that I was really, really itchy all over my neck and face. I ran to the mirror and watched an angry red rash spread over my neck, up to my ears, and down my chest. Holy crap it freaked me out -- I have never had anything like that happen! It took only a matter of minutes and I saw it happen before my eyes. I'm gonna be totally TMI and show you one picture.

I freaked out and called my roommate to see if she had any Benadryl, but she didn't answer. Called both my parents, no answer. Texted them, and my dad called me from work to tell me to walk to Ralphs and buy some Benadryl and Pepcid. I did as he recommended and shortly after I took the Benadryl my rash faded and now it's only a little itchy.

I talked to Mom on Skype and analyzed (for way too long) trying to figure out why I got this allergic reaction. I didn't eat anything new, wear anything new, change my soap... nothing. Finally it came to me. The little pepper that my roommate bought, sitting in the fridge next to my edamame, both in fairly open plastic packages, sharing air.

I pieced that together with a couple other experiences I've had, like when I bit into a Chipotle burrito and a small piece of tiny green pepper caused my lip to swell up, and I figured it out - I'm allergic to jalapeños! More specifically, capsaicin. It's the compound that makes peppers hot, and it usually only affects people when raw. And you know how most jalapeños aren't that hot, but a special few are? Those are especially high-capsaicin peppers, and I think those are the ones that give me a reaction. And now I know I don't even have to eat it or touch it to be affected! We just have to share air.

It was scary because I've never really had an allergic reaction like that before, especially when I couldn't figure out the culprit at first. But at least now I know and I have Benadryl in the house! I always was very happy that I don't have allergies. I'm not even susceptible to poison ivy -- I could wipe my ass with it and be fine, while my mom can't even walk in its vicinity without contracting it. I am a little allergic to certain hypo-allergenic lotions (ironic, right?) like Clinique and Johnson&Johnson, but that's usually obvious -- I put on lotion, get rash where lotion was. That yellow Clinique moisturizer is like poison in a bottle for me. But now, alas. Capsaicin. (Probably. Let the record state that I am totally self-diagnosing here.)

Moving on... tonight I went to a workshop with a Disney channel casting director and then went out with a couple actors afterwards to chat. It was nice! Tomorrow I have another workshop but I need to get some grocery shopping in first and I hope to make some more raw dishes in the next few days!

Link of the Day: I like Gena's post about the recent 2010 dietary guidelines for America. They don't go far enough or give Americans the information that they really need to protect their health!

Have you ever had an allergic reaction? What are you allergic to? Man, allergies. They are weird.


  1. Wow, that pic does explain why you were concerned. Yikes! Can't wait to talk again soon!!

  2. Wow---that can be pretty scary! I am allergic to cats...but not anything like like that kind of reaction! I guess having benadryl on hand is a good idea in general :)

  3. Oh, I'm so sorry! I'm such a chilli addict that I'd rather be allergic to anything but that :(

  4. Thanks for the commiseration. It is a bummer!