I was at my daughter’s wedding and the bridegroom was on stage talking about how the groom had never had a problem with his collagen.
I asked him how he knew this because I had a collagen sample from my mother, who had had an allergy to collagen.
The groom replied, “I just think it’s cool, you know?”
I was intrigued and said, “Well, why do you think that?”
“Because I’ve had a real problem with collagen for years.
I’m allergic to it.
And I’m also a very sensitive person,” he replied.
“And then when I got a little bit older and had a little more experience with it, it got a bit worse, and now I can’t feel it.
I can only feel it in my arms.”
“But I’m pretty sure that’s because I’ve got collagen on my skin,” I told him.
The next day, I got in contact with a dermatologist in Tel Aviv and asked about my daughter.
She said that I could try it, and I decided to try it anyway.
When I went to my doctor to get the first prescription, I told the pharmacist, “There are no allergens in my body, but I’m sensitive to it.”
He said, of course, that my skin was allergic to collagen and he’d prescribe me the allergy medication.
Then, I had an allergic reaction, and a week later I got an allergy test.
My dermatologist said that it was an allergic skin reaction.
He told me that I was allergic not only to collagen but also to the proteins that are found in collagen, and he would prescribe me all the medication I needed to manage it.
But then he told me something very disturbing.
“I want you to take the medication, because you are allergic to the peptides that are part of collagen,” he said.
“And you are not allergic to anything.
But I don’t want you going to a dermatology clinic, because I’m worried that you’ll have more skin problems.”
I said, I understand, but what are you going do if you have trouble taking the medication?
“You have to go to a specialist,” he told the doctor.
So I got to a clinic in the center of Tel Aviv, and there I was told, “We are afraid that you will have skin problems if you don’t have all the medications that you need.”
I asked why I should go to the dermatologist if I didn’t want to have skin issues?
“You have allergies to proteins that come from the collagen that you produce, and you are very sensitive to them,” he answered.
“But you’re also very sensitive, because it’s part of your DNA, so if you make a mistake you can develop an allergy.”
My daughter was so terrified by this that I felt ashamed and said that she should take the allergy medications.
She did, and she said that since she had a reaction to her allergy, I should probably go to my dermatologist.
And that was the beginning of my allergy journey.
For years I had difficulty with my allergies and I had trouble getting around the house, and it seemed to me that my allergy problems were a result of my collagen-induced sensitivity to the allergens.
Eventually, though, I found that I had to learn how to manage my collagen allergy to avoid skin problems and to manage the swelling of my skin caused by allergies to other allergens and medications.
After years of struggle, I have finally been able to feel better about myself and to take steps to stop having skin problems.
And it has been so rewarding.
I have learned to manage what I can and what I am allergic to, and to learn to manage skin problems, which I have always been unable to manage.
Now that I have a healthy, beautiful skin, I am able to walk the streets without fear.