Tips & Tricks: Wood Allergies

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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 10-24-2011 06:56 PM 14295 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18619 posts in 5080 days

10-24-2011 06:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: allergies tips tricks

what are your experiences re: allergic reactions to wood?
- types of wood, physical signs of allergies, prevention and treatment, etc.

(also add links to helpful blogs etc that are related to the topic)

Gateway to all Tips & Tricks Topics

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

18 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19846 posts in 4595 days

#1 posted 10-24-2011 07:12 PM

Small switches of various species have been known to sting, make red marks and raise blisters in extreme cases.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 3691 days

#2 posted 10-24-2011 08:59 PM

My wallet is alergic to wood, whenever it’s near wood it tends to shed money.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3988 days

#3 posted 10-24-2011 09:37 PM

I just went thru this and the doctor and I decided that my itchy rash probably wasn’t from sawdust. Not sure what caused it but sawdust probably wasn’t the culprit.

The test was really simple. Tape a small shaving of the suspected wood (poplar for me) to an arm for 24 hours and see what happens.

She (the dermatologist) also had me taking an OTC, non-drowsey formula, anthistimine every day. Apparently antihistimines are commonly used to treat itch and rashes.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3881 days

#4 posted 10-24-2011 10:05 PM

Antihistamines counteract the histamines generated in the system- obviously. I have asthma and allergies (most trees and grass). You might want to google this subject as it’s really complicated as to the physiology involved.
The rash might have been caused by something other than the wood. Poison ivy? Molds. Insects in the wood? I also have the same problem as Jeremy G. My wife accompanies me to the Woodcraft store and stands between me and the wood so I don’t get that reaction!

View wildbill001's profile


111 posts in 3562 days

#5 posted 10-24-2011 10:35 PM

cocobolo did a number on me years ago when I was turning some pieces for a clock I was building. Even with the antihistimines, I head plugged up something fierce. Seems like a got a bit of a rash as well on the backs of my hands and wrists. I would shower immediately after every turning session which may or may not have helped.

If there is a next time, I’m going to rig some sort of positive ventilator and/or a dust collection. As with all allergies, there is always that one possibility that the next attack could be your last.


-- "You can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their back" -- Unknown

View EPJartisan's profile


1123 posts in 4045 days

#6 posted 10-25-2011 12:40 AM

I am allergic to both Black Walnut and Black Cherry. Makes my skin break out in huge hives .. if I breath in the dust.. I break out everywhere it is horrible and they last for days after. I take 12 hour Claratin if I know I am working in those woods.. which I do all the time.. so I keep a large stash around, even today making a walnut frame my eyes are suffering. Wish I had an easy one to avoid one like my father, like you Bill.. cocobolo put him in the hospital.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19846 posts in 4595 days

#7 posted 10-25-2011 02:12 AM

My mom was allergic to black walnut pollen or anything with the nuts when I was little. She told me she used to have me get her a warm wash cloth to put on her eyes to get them open in the morning when she woke up because they were swollen shut.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Andy123's profile


226 posts in 3393 days

#8 posted 10-26-2011 12:22 AM

Ebony makes my nose and eyes burn when turning and sanding it.

-- The mistakes I make in woodworking are not mistakes they just give my projects character- Me

View burley's profile


6 posts in 2957 days

#9 posted 11-10-2012 12:27 AM

I have found that most people are allergic to any wood in the Rosewood family. With that said as a safety issue you shoud always use your PPE (personal protection equipment).

View KathyL's profile


6 posts in 3560 days

#10 posted 09-17-2013 07:55 PM

The skin on my hands start to peel off when I work a lot with wood, doesn’t matter what kind of wood. I try putting on lotion but it does no good. I’m going to try some gloves and see if that helps. Right now I’m doing mostly chip carving because I had back surgery a few weeks a go and cannot lift anything over 10 lb and cannot bend at the waist. It’s a real bummer!

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3168 days

#11 posted 09-17-2013 07:57 PM

None for me, but my wife was in the ER for several days after turning some bloodwood.


View don1960's profile


227 posts in 3607 days

#12 posted 09-17-2013 08:07 PM

I found a few years ago that I have an allergic reaction to the dust from Morado (bolivian rosewood). Got a rash so bad over my face and arms I had to take steroid pills to get rid of it.

If I use it again I rub Lotion all over my face and arms first, then take a shower immediately afterwards.

-- -- Don from PA

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2875 days

#13 posted 09-17-2013 08:25 PM

I get a running nose a scratchy throughout when I do a LOT of sanding with black walnut, but just a normal amount of exposure doesn’t seem to cause any noticeable reaction.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3544 days

#14 posted 09-17-2013 08:55 PM

In the last year I have developed an allergy to just about all saw dust. It seems to be just the fine stuff. The skin on my fingers and hands get hard then it splits. I went to the doc and he prescribed a steroid that used twice a day with gloves, helps but does not cure. I have taken to wearing gloves to sand, until I get to the very end then sand and immediately wash.
I have been in the grocery business all my life. I am retiring in 11 days. I attribute some of my sensitivity to being in contact with cardboard for these last 44 years.
Wait maybe it is sandpaper!!??

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View GT350's profile


380 posts in 2901 days

#15 posted 09-18-2013 01:14 AM

I was turning some bowls out of walnut and my face, arms and hands, anywhere the wood came in contact with turned red. I took this as a warning and I don’t work with walnut very much now. I understand some wood can be a sensitizer so I try to stay away from exotics.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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