rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


Do you ever feel the steam rising when people who know you have allergies keep on offering you unsuitable snacks or foods?

I think it’s just an instinctive sharing thing, I think people don’t mean to make you want to scream inside…


For the love of God, I have been allergic to dairy now for over 15 YEARS – I still CANNOT EAT THINGS WITH MILK, CHEESE, BUTTER, YOGURT, CREAM… I – CANNOT – EAT – MINI – CHEDDARS…

If I had a pound for every time I was offered stuff I clearly can’t have like milk in my tea, ice cream, pudding, cake, biscuits… by people who know better I’d be quite rich (Well I’d maybe have about a hundred quid).

I think it’s those little habits, like just stirring a cup of tea, not thinking about the cross contamination from milk in other hot drinks you’re making at the same time.

We make these kinds of mistakes even in our own house and I know some people say you should ban all allergens, and yes ALL NUTS ARE BANNED – DO NOT BRING NUTS TO MY HOUSE! However I don’t think it’s fair to also make my husband cut out dairy, wheat and tomatoes just because I am. He couldn’t give a fig about the soya or celery so no arguments there.

And please don’t think I am getting at any of you who ask me this, it’s not meant as a dig (Dad, Mother in Law, HUSBAND!…) it just makes me laugh.

I usually put my head on one side and ask, “Do you think I can?” if I’m feeling cheeky, or just politely decline. I’m really not that bothered.

Because when your favourite flavour used to be cheese and onion, when you have eaten quavers, wotsits AND mini cheddars, being offered them is quite frustrating. When you crave cheese and butter melted on toast and cream and proper ice cream from a cone it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

And it’s not just the cheese flavoured crisps which contain dairy it’s pretty much ALL flavoured crisps except ready salted, which are usually OK. I like these too, but they’re not quite mini cheddars.

However when you have had an anaphylactic attack after eating a small mouthful of dairy, it’s not worth getting worked up about. I can’t eat dairy anymore but I CAN eat so many other things.

Can't eat mini cheddars - got a dairy allergy

I so miss Cheese & Onion crisps

(apologies to anyone who is not a Catherine Tate fan, for whom these last few lines will make no sense what so ever)

And actually, I would always rather you asked.

Always check. Always. That’s the thing with allergies, you have to be vigilant all the time and in my opinion there is no stupid question so I would rather you asked me a hundred times,

“Can you eat mini cheddars?” than not ask me and possibly find I get a reaction from cross contamination; I’m thinking empty bowls being refilled, fingers taking mini cheddars and then going for the plain crisps.

It’s a jungle out there. Please try to separate the freefrom snacks if you’re throwing a party. Or better still, you dairy, nut, wheat guzzling lucky old so-and-so’s can just do without for one evening.

“Can you eat mini cheddars?”

Because if I’m honest, I am just a little bit bovvered that I can’t eat these cheesy snacks anymore :o(



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

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