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Ladies Forum A place for our female Calgunners to discuss, share and interact without the 'excess attention' sometimes found in online forums.

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  #1  
Old 11-22-2012, 2:49 PM
C6H6 C6H6 is offline
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Default Strange reaction from shooting

Hello Ladies,
I've been noticing a reaction after going shooting. My skin, especially face and hands turn bright red at the range and for a while after leaving the range. At first I thought it was because it was hot out, but the last couple of times the weather has been mild and I was under a covered shooting area. Has anyone ever seen this or had this same reaction? I'm wondering if I'm having some kind of reaction to the gases?
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:48 PM
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Can't say I've ever seen or heard of this, but I know from experience that bright red skin can be a histamine reaction. I think I'd be talking to my doctor if this was happening to me. Antihistamines might help, but if it is a histamine reaction you run a non-zero risk of serious complications....
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2012, 11:41 PM
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^^^ this. I agree with the histamine issue. I get some issues sometimes on certain job sites. I do construction..... Occasionally i will get really red in the bend of my arm and around my neck when demoing old woods . Goes away after a hour or two of exposure and a shower. Wondering if this is the same issue ?
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Old 11-23-2012, 9:36 AM
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outdoor range? could also be a reaction to trees, grasses, etc.
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Old 12-08-2012, 7:33 PM
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Update: I saw my doctor about this and she suggested I try taking Benadryl - which I told her was probably a bad idea to mix with guns. So I will try Claritin next time to see if it helps. We also think it might be a carbon monoxide reaction. I will need to buy an alarm and do some more testing.
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Old 12-08-2012, 7:48 PM
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Are you shooting a pistol or rifle?
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Old 12-08-2012, 9:24 PM
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Pistol, but I was also standing next to rifle shooters.
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Old 12-08-2012, 9:34 PM
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Are you touching your face at any time with your hands? Maybe next time your at the range either wear gloves or don't touch your face at all, try and narrow it down to something your actually touching or something in the air.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:02 AM
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Costco and Sams Club both sell bulk packs of OTC anti-histamine pills (zyrtec and the like). These aren't life-savers, but they do work pretty well as long as you take one a day.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2012, 11:00 AM
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Dont hold your breath! jk

Are you a person who stays indoors a lot or go out much?
Could be some kind of skin irritation? Do you have any known allergies?
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C6H6 View Post
Update: I saw my doctor about this and she suggested I try taking Benadryl - which I told her was probably a bad idea to mix with guns. So I will try Claritin next time to see if it helps. We also think it might be a carbon monoxide reaction. I will need to buy an alarm and do some more testing.
It is true that being near a carbon monoxide source will turn your face bright cherry red and you will start to feel woozy and tired. Is there by chance a generator near your range? Maybe large diesel motors without emissions controls? Carbon monoxide doesn't just appear, it needs a source like a gasoline motor or other mechanical device. I don't think a CO2 detector will help you, but it won't do any harm and it's good to have in your house.

In any case, I'd go and shoot the same guns and ammo at a different range and see what happens. No antihistamines when running that test.

You don't mention if the red areas itch. If they don't itch, it's probably not an allergy. Go by your doctor's advice on this.

Also wondering if you wash your face and hands, as we all should after shooting, with soap the range provides. That's another opportunity for reaction, as is a special shooting shirt, hat, etc.

Is there poison ivy or poison oak in the area? Even if you don't touch it, when they mow, the oils get into the air and can get on you. (Same reason you never burn poison ivy or poison oak)

I would start removing variables one at a time to discover what makes the difference.
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Last edited by BonnieB; 12-09-2012 at 12:50 PM..
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2012, 5:44 AM
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Hi, brand spanky new here.
I was just reading through some of the post and this thread caught my eye.
Has anyone considered if this is a lead reaction? I always wash asap after shooting or teaching, and have my clients wipe too with the lead wipes.
The OP's reaction seems to be limited to the areas exposed to the blowback. And hands and face can be especially sensitive.
Perhaps putting on a benedryl cream to the exposed areas, wearing long sleeves when possible, may help. I had a client once who was allergic to the lead and powder residue.
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Old 12-10-2012, 8:53 AM
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welcome, CB!
a topical to create a barrier prior to shooting is a good idea....especially a barrier with an antihistamine init.
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Old 12-13-2012, 4:06 PM
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Anything new on the strange reaction to shooting?
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WHAT I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR, MOSTLY THE HARD WAY
Do only safe sex. Never have sex with someone crazier than you are.
Don't marry or move in together before you're both at least 25.
Don't have children until you're married five years or at least age 30.
Put 10% of your salary into savings every month no matter how broke you are.
Don't ever screw around with the IRS.
Keep a handgun on your bedside table.
Don't smart-mouth judges, or cops who stop you on the road.
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Old 12-14-2012, 8:09 PM
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I am at an outdoor range and I am allergic to trees, grasses, etc. However...that is usually immediately accompanied by unstoppable sneezing, itchy eyes, etc. I do not have any itchiness or other "allergic" reactions. The range is pretty sparse when it comes to plants where I am at.

I did some research and it turns out that carbon monoxide is a component of the gases released from shooting. There are special ventilation requirements to reduce CO exposure at indoor ranges. I have experience headaches and flu like symptoms after shooting which are side effects of carbon monoxide. It is possible it is a lead reaction as well. I am always wearing long sleeves when at the range to reduce my exposure to hot brass and any lead.

I haven't had any updates as I've been too busy to get back to the range. I will update if I have any more developments. I will try a combination of things such as being at the range without shooting. Being at the range with the CO monitor. Being at the range with Claritin in my system, etc. It will take a while to do all these tests since the nearest outdoor range is an hour away.
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Old 12-18-2012, 1:09 PM
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This site shows how gunshot residue was tested for nitrite and lead. When I started shooting, I sorta wondered if I'd react to the GSR, as I've some weird allergies. But thankfully nitrite, lead, etc. are not among them.

Have you thought of wearing a plastic shield, similar to the ones on this site, as well as nitrile handgloves to prevent/minimize facial and hand skin reactions?

Benadryl is pretty low dosage, OTC anti-allergy medication that will not affect your mind -- only lessen/inhibit your body's reaction to the intrusive allergen.
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Old 12-23-2012, 9:10 PM
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I have a friend that has problems with some synthetic stocks. There is something in the plastic he is alergic to. His hands swell up unless he uses a wood stock or grip.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:00 AM
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My face will turn red after shooting in an indoor range. I do wash my face and hands after leaving the range. I always considered it was a short term reaction to the residue, dust and heat in the indoor range. It clears after I leave. I live on benedryle so I can't say that helps the situation. I am probably immune to benedryle by now.
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Old 01-17-2013, 7:55 AM
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I'll throw in my two cents here. A lot of people (myself, my family and multiple friends included) have had a wheat gluten allergy they never knew they had, until they went gluten-free and all their bizarre, unexplained symptoms (like persistent cough, skin rash, fatigue) just plain went away. If you're not on a gluten free diet, try it-- I'm willing to bet your skin redness at the shooting range is an overreaction due in part to existing allergies that are constantly being aggravated.
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Old 01-17-2013, 8:51 AM
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indoor range: i wash my hands before i leave. i dont' want to spread "residue" in my car or any further on my clothing or body. i take my own soap. yeah, we women are cautious creatures but having chemical allergies and suffering the consequences has enforced this habit for me. and i tend to do this at outdoor ranges as well.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:45 AM
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wash your face with COLD water and soap after shooting; don't use hot water as it increases absorption into pores.
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Old 01-17-2013, 1:23 PM
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Wash you hands before eating.. I worry about drinking water with fluoride the poison in the super refined foods the corporations are killing us with. As well as the questionable safety of the GMO foods the drugs are doctors are prescribing etc!!! why worry.
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Old 01-17-2013, 1:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
I'll throw in my two cents here. A lot of people (myself, my family and multiple friends included) have had a wheat gluten allergy they never knew they had, until they went gluten-free and all their bizarre, unexplained symptoms (like persistent cough, skin rash, fatigue) just plain went away. If you're not on a gluten free diet, try it-- I'm willing to bet your skin redness at the shooting range is an overreaction due in part to existing allergies that are constantly being aggravated.
It is hard to do gluten free. Gluten is in everything spices ,flavorings, most processed foods, cosmetics and shampoos as it is cheap and plentiful. My wife and daughter went gluten free and their allergie type symptoms cleared up. IMO it is a good thing to try and there are more and more gluten free items available. Lots of info on line.

Last edited by Sunday; 01-17-2013 at 1:33 PM..
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